Would it surprise you to learn that Google keeps a record of everything you say to it? If there’s one thing Google loves, it’s data, and it can store everything on its servers. The problem with an entity like Google is that it keeps so much of your information that finding it so you can remove the stuff is often like navigating a maze.
Don’t worry though, as long as you know the right path, anything can be a breeze. To delete your Google voice search history;
- Head to your Google Activity page. You’ll need to be logged in to your Google account to see your data.
- Click on “Filter by date & product.”
- Select “Voice and Audio,” then hit the “Apply” button.
- Click the “delete” button on top of the results shown, then click the “Delete” button on the following pop-up menu.
Stopping Google from Further Recordings
Now that you’ve removed the recordings that Google kept, it’s time to stop this from happening again. You need to do so manually, or the recordings will simply get piled up again, with you needing to remove them periodically manually.
To stop Google from recording more voice clips;
- Head to your Google Activity page again.
- Uncheck the “Include audio recordings” line.
For good measure, click the “Auto-delete” box just below that and select a timeframe that forces Google to delete activity after specified periods.
Why Google Records Your Voice
From your Google activity history, you might have realized that Google stores, well, everything. It keeps track of who you are, where you are from, what you’ve been doing – essentially, your entire digital portfolio.
While much of it contributes towards helping them sell ads to merchants, your voice clips help Google improve on its products. Voice search needs complex algorithms to recognize and decipher, and Google uses machine learning to handle this.
The more data this artificial intelligence (AI) model has, the more Google can improve future voice recognition capabilities. It’s somewhat similar to training a dog how to sit; you do it over and over again until the dog learns.
While this seems like a legitimate reason to keep your voice recordings, it’s simply a bit too creepy for some to accept. Imagine someone following you around in real life while recording everything you’ve been doing.
How Google Records Your Voice
If you haven’t realized it by now, there are many occasions where Google has a chance to record your voice. One of the most significant ways is when you use Google Assistant on your phone.
Google Assistant is a voice-activated concierge service that lets you do many things, for example, do a web search, activate your smart lights, or set a timer to wake you up from a nap. It’s convenient since you don’t have to go somewhere or type something to get it done.
Each time you say “OK Google,” then ask the assistant something, that’s when the recording begins. For example, if you say, “OK Google, Tell me where the closest place I can buy condoms is,” that gets kept on file.
Google is Legally Storing All Your Data
For those who are starting to frown and wonder if this is legal, yes, it is. The problem with terms of service and user agreements is that they’re often lengthy and repetitive. They are designed to protect the companies that offer products and services, ensuring they have your permission to do whatever they want.
The often page-long agreements tend to drown readers in legalese, so hardly anyone reads them. That’s when companies like Google slip in the clauses that allow them to record and store everything they wish legally.
Should You Stop Google from Recording Your Voice?
Legitimate companies like Google make use of the data for many reasons. While, on the one hand, they use it to improve their services, they’re also often making a mint off your data by selling ads.
The integration of these two areas is so tight that you risk having the service break down or simply stop being as helpful as possible by preventing them from storing your data.
In the case of Google, data recordings help them improve their voice recognition capabilities as a whole. It’s an overall improvement from collective data recording, so you’re contributing to better Google voice search for everyone, not just yourself.
Stopping Google from recording and storing your voice is a personal choice. If you want to, you can, and it’s pretty easy, as I’ve demonstrated above.
Although Google means well by recording your voice data, not every company and service online has the same good intentions. However, data is much valued by everyone today, so you will likely face the same problem with every website or service you sign up.
Keep this in mind the next time you see something free and join them to use whatever is being offered. They may bury something in the user agreement you ignore and then sell it to the highest bidder.