If you frequently use the virtual assistant on your Android phone, chances are Google is recording and storing your queries.
The Independent’s Andrew Griffin first pointed out that Google now lets you check and listen to any audio files it’s storing, but don’t panic — Google isn’t recording all of your conversations.
The feature acts as only a log of your voice searches — what your phone hears after you say “OK Google” — so Android users are likely to have more recordings than those with Apple devices. Because iPhone users have Siri, the only way for Google to capture the transcript of what you’re asking your phone is if you use the main Google app to search the web.
By checking the history of your Google account, you can actually listen through your recordings and see a transcript of what you said. There’s also an option to delete recordings individually or trash all of them at once. And if you don’t want Google to store your searches at all, simply uncheck that option when setting up your Android device or opt out in your Google settings later.
One thing to keep in mind: When you do a voice search, Google records for about 15 seconds or until you stop speaking. So if you’re talking to a friend or someone else is speaking nearby, it may record more than you planned. Plus, search can be enabled both by clicking the microphone button and by saying “OK Google,” which means it could inadvertently record you, depending on what you’re talking about.
Voice recordings aren’t the only information Google is storing: Google stores your web and app usage history, as well as data based off your location, so you can see a map of all the places it knows you’ve visited. This feature is only visible to you, but to opt out, just disable “Location History” on desktop or your Android device.
Here’s how to find and listen to your recordings:
3. To delete an individual recording, select the box next to it and hit delete at the top of the page.
4. To delete all your recordings at once, select the day they were recorded and click delete at the top of the page.
5. To see the rest of your Google history, select the round button at the upper left side of the page.
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