Careful, Alexa now reveals what you’ve ordered when you ask for your delivery status

When Amazon added the ability for Alexa to tell you the delivery status of your open Amazon orders, it was a welcomed addition. At the time, Alexa only told you when the order was placed, who placed it, and when it was expected to arrive. Sometime recently, Amazon updated the feature to where Alexa now also tells you what is in the order.

If you ask Alexa “Where’s my stuff?”, it used to just tell you “A shipment for [NAME]’s order, placed [ORDER DATE], should arrive [DELIVERY DATE].” The voice assistant still says the same thing, but it now also adds “…this contains [ITEM]” to the end of the response.

On one hand, if you have multiple open orders, Alexa’s more detailed delivery status response is a lot more helpful since you now know which of your ordered items will be arriving next. However, on the other hand, it means anyone within earshot of your Alexa device can make the same request and easily learn what you’ve recently ordered from Amazon.

There does not appear to be a way to disable Alexa’s ability to reveal what you’ve ordered or require authentication, like a PIN, before giving you shipment updates. Amazon’s help page for the feature explains how to disable unprompted shipping notifications, which were recently added to Echo devices, but does not offer a way to disable prompted requests where someone asks for shipment updates.

Having one’s Amazon order contents accessible to others is likely a concern for many, especially with the growing number of devices that integrate Alexa capabilities. Inadvertently revealing a gift to family or friends is a regrettable, albeit innocent, example; other scenarios may be more problematic.

Amazon sometimes warns customers that the packaging of certain items will reveal its contents, and often provides the option to request that the item be placed in an unnecessary second box so that the ordered item remains private. This indicates that order privacy is a real concern for Amazon shoppers.

Hopefully, Amazon adds an option in the Alexa app to better control what information Alexa reveals about open orders.

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8 comments
  1. Erin says:

    It’s been doing this for several weeks (over a month), but good reminder with the holidays approaching.

  2. Wrecks says:

    You can have Amazon send you a text message when something ships. And my phone will read my text messages when I’m driving. The two together ruined my marriage proposal. My husband was in the car with me when the text message announcing the “will you marry me” lottery ticket was shipped was read to both of us.

  3. Reflex says:

    This is why they need to add per user voice recognition.

  4. Tech3475 says:

    Does this affect hidden or gift orders?

  5. Ujn Hunter says:

    Is there any way to disable Order tracking/information all together? All I want is to be able to play music and control my lights/”smart home”.

    • Erin says:

      Not yet. You can stop notifications from being pushed to your Echo devices but if anyone asks your Echo device “where’s my stuff”, it will answer. Your dog walker could get an update on your recent purchases if they knew what to ask.

      • Ujn Hunter says:

        That’s not cool. I really love my Echo’s (I have 5 of them throughout the house), but you should have control over what you can and can’t do with them. I think I’ll be writing to Amazon about this. Thanks for your reply.

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