Google Records Your Voice Commands: Here’s How to Delete Them

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Google is undoubtedly one of the most popular search engines ever built. You might also be familiar with the Google Assistant. We are using it to search rapidly but what many don’t know is that Google could be saving our voice searches as well.

Google reserves the right to store our voice recordings and the questions we asked by saying “Ok Google.” This might be, however, a privacy issue to many. This does not only account for your smartphone but also for any other Google endpoint such as a browser on PC or Laptop as well as the Google Home devices.

Google My Activity

In June 2017, Google launched a user portal where we can check our all Google account related activities. From there you can manage your privacy settings and see what you have searched for and you can also see where Google has recorded your location data. In that part of the configuration, there is another section for voice search data where you can find all the voice-triggered searches that you have done via the Google Assistant. You can listen to them again and, if you want to, delete all the recordings that were saved by Google.

Google Activity Controls

How to find your Ok Google voice data

Steps to find and delete your recordings:

  • First login to your Google account.
  • Now you have to navigate to My activity portal, which was released by Google earlier this year.
  • Look at the left sidebar. Here you will find an option called “Activity Controls.” Click on it.
  • On this page, you can see many of your activities. But for the sake of this article, We just concentrate on Audio Activities. Go further down on the page, and you will see an option called “Voice & Audio Activity.” Click on it.
  • Now you can find all your voice and audio activities which were recorded by Google and play them back or delete them. You can turn this off also if you choose to, but you will no longer contribute to Google’s effort to improve this function further.

Google Activity Voice Audio Manage

It’s curious to see Google recording all our activities. Do they want to sell their ads? It may be possible that Google is recording our voices so that they can improve the language processing algorithms of Google Assistant which, for instance, helps them differentiating between a British accent and an American accent. It may also be possible that they are using this data to build an AI with better language processing capabilities. Google does not outline the underlying reason for this, so we can only guess. But at least now you can delete these records or prevent them from being saved.

This guest contribution was provided by Lavesh Mamodia.

Photo credit: Andrés Nieto Porras
Source: Rohit Kulegi (The Explode) / Rohit Kulegi (The Explode)

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