Is Google Recording Everything You Say?
Over the years, Google has progressed amazingly and now millions of people rely on the results of searches every single day. However, would it surprise you to know that they could have years worth of your searches saved up as well as accessible audio files of your conversations while you are online or offline? In your personal Google history page, this information can be found and a little later we will show you how to stop it from happening.
So, in short, yes.
At first, this feature was introduced so that Google could return you more accurate results from searches but the amount of data that Google stores away concerns many. According to reports, the records act as a ‘kind of diary’ which shows where you have been and how much information they have collected along the way. If you have had an Android phone, this data is said to be more expansive thanks to the ‘Ok, Google’ feature. Despite this, Google can still listen in on iOS devices.
As reports of this emerged, Google maintained the fact that the information is never used against its users. Instead, the information is attained so the user’s experience on the site can be enhanced. In truth, it is more of a case that they cannot use it against you because they would be implicating themselves more than us. Now, you can visit your very own personal history page that Google stores for you.
However, even if you delete all of your history, this does not mean that Google have completely deleted your information. It will not only be stored in the backups of their data files but also their database, so they can use it to improve the existing system. This information could be used for any other purposes too though. Meaning your data is not really safe, even in the hands of a trusted business – such as Google.
In recent years, Google has strengthened its grip at the top of the industry and the search engine itself receives over 3.5 billion searches each and every day. To put this into context, Google receives 40,000 search queries every single second. Then, whoever conducts this search sees the data filed away in their own personal page. Using this information, future searches are catered for that person’s needs.
Digging deeper, we can also see that they do not just use your search for information, they also look at your location at the time of the search to make a better user experience for all of us. As I mentioned earlier, this feature can be turned off if you do not like the sound of it. If you have not visited the page before, you will need to log-in to your Google account and you will see the list of audio files and a record of your previous searches.
Rather than panicking and listening to them through, I recommend simply deleting them and disabling the functions by doing the following;
- Visit your Google history page and check if you have any recordings. If you do have any you can simply delete them by clicking on the “Delete activity by” that is available on the left navigation bar. Once you click on that, it will then give you options to choose from.
- If you want to remove them all at the same time make sure you select the “All time” option given to you on the “Delete activity by” page.
- If you are reading this because you want to disable these functions, the easiest method of doing so is to turn off virtual assistant and stop using voice search. Moreover, make sure they do not have permission to use your microphone. You can disable this feature from your mobile phone settings. By disabling this feature you may also save mobile data, as your phone will not be connecting to Google’s servers to upload and download voice information unnecessarily.
Finally, remember that the platform has a dedicated page for the records of where you have been on the internet, you can visit your history page to check them out.
So there we have it, Google really does store away audio files, previous searches and much more. Ultimately, we should be able to trust one of the biggest companies in the world, but you can disable these features if you do not feel comfortable!
This post is for educational purposes only.
11th April 2018
10th April 2018