Google has been RECORDING you – here's three ways to delete your voice history
IF you have a Google Home or Google Nest device in your home, it's incredibly likely the smart assistance has been recording you.
Thankfully, there are three simple ways to delete your voice history – and a way to stop the devices from recording you all together.
Consumers across the US were sent into a panic in 2019 when it was uncovered that both Google and Amazon give human contractors access to audio clips from their customers' Google Home and Amazon Echo devices.
"As part of our work to develop speech technology for more languages, we partner with language experts around the world who understand the nuances and accents of a specific language," David Monsees, product manager for Google Search, explained in 2019.
"These language experts review and transcribe a small set of queries to help us better understand those languages. This is a critical part of the process of building speech technology, and is necessary to creating products like the Google Assistant."
Google has since changed its policies, requiring Home or Nest users to opt in to having voice searches recorded in the first place, in response to the backlash.
If you're unsure whether you opted in or out, or if you're just curious to know what Google's recorded about you, there are ways to check.
Even though Google changed its stance on recording voice searches, the rest of your Google ecosystem activity might still be getting – with no opt-in required.
All of your Google activity can be found in the "My Activity" section of your Google account.
In there you'll find everything from your Google Maps entries to your search engine queries.
You can read a list in the Google Home app or actually listen back to your own voice search history if it has been recorded.
Thankfully, you can also easily erase your history.
Deleting your recordings on PC
To delete your Google Assistant voice recording on a desktop computer or laptop, visit myactivity.google.com.
If you have more than one Gmail account, make sure you're signed into the account that's linked with your Google Home device.
From there, click "Web & App Activity"; then go to "Manage Activity"; click "Filter by date and product"; and then check "Voice and Audio" in the list Google Products.
After hitting enter, you should be able to view a chronological list of all the commands you've given your device.
You can manually delete commands one by one, or you can set a date range to clear them in bulk.
Deleting recording on your phone
Just as you would on PC, open up a search browser on your cell phone and type in myactivity.google.com.
Click on "Filter by date & product" and then check "Voice & Audio."
From here, it will work the same way as it does on PC.
If you're using the Google Home app, you won't be able to filter by date and product.
You can only filter on the app by date, so you'll either have to delete them one by one.
How to turn off voice and audio
If you previously opted-in to Google saving your audio or voice commands you can easily stop the devices from doing so.
However, it will cause voice searching with Google Assistant to stop working until it's re-enabled.
On a PC, you can access the feature by clicking on the settings bar in the top left corner of myactivity.google.com.
From there, hit "Activity Controls" on the menu and toggle "Audio Recordings" on or off.
Google will ask if you're sure and tell you a bit more about what pausing voice and audio means.
If you still wish to proceed, click "I Agree". If not, hit "No thanks."
If you're on the mobile app, you tap your profile icon on the top right, tap "My Activity" and then "Saving Activity."
From there you can once again toggle the feature on or off.
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