Most people will not be too surprised to learn that virtual assistant Google Now records all of the questions you ask. People today have pretty much come to expect that tech firms like Google and Apple are recording everything you do on their networks. Sure they’re going to analyze everything you say and do so they can sell the information about you to someone else, but apparently Americans have come to accept that is the price we pay for the conveniences of technology.
The good news is that there is a way for you to delete everything you ask Google Now; the bad news is that it is a bit of a hassle and will take a little time. You can even turn voice activity “off”, and Google will anonymize your recordings so they cannot be directly linked to you.
Deleting Google Now questions using Google’s voice and audio activity page
Although Google’s voice and audio activity page is not something the company talks about a lot, it is a great resource as the page displays a list of every command you have ever given or question you have asked Google Now.
Of note, Google also offers a location history page where users can see any location the software has tracked them, either through Google Maps or just using an Android phone (geo-location enabled).
Keep in mind that Google does have pretty good reasons to record everything. For example, users benefit from the fact that it stores your voice, both in that the huge amount of data it analyzes from users means continued improvement in voice recognition technology, and by learning your specific voice, it will also get better at recognizing what you say over time.
Moreover, if you use the services, you have already agreed to let Google store your data once.
That said, if you still don’t like the idea of Google recording everything you say, you can switch voice activity “off”…kind of.
Although switch voice activity to “off” on Google’s voice and audio activity page doesn’t stop the firm storing your recordings, it does mean they are stored with an anonymous identifier, and not directly linked back to your account. Experts say that law enforcement or other technically savvy types could, however, almost certainly identify your data even if it is stored “anonymously”.