Google silently records your voice: here's how to turn off the feature

Google silently records your voice: here's how to turn off the feature

Are you aware that Google has a hidden feature within users' accounts that quietly records their voices, storing them for uses far beyond a simple conversation?

Indeed, recordings stemming from web and app activity, together with verbal interactions with Google Search, Assistant, and Maps, all fall within the purview of Google's audio recognition technology development. But don't worry, a tech expert has spilled the beans on a secret "cheat code" to halt Google's eavesdropping. It's as simple as managing your Google account settings and unchecking some boxes under "Data and Privacy".

How to disable this feature

Here's the lowdown on reclaiming your privacy and pulling the plug on Google's snooping:

  • Navigate to the Google app.
  • Next, tap on "Manage your Google Account."
  • Then head to the "Data and Privacy" tab.
  • From there, find "History Setup" and delve into "Web and App Activity."
  • Untick the box next to "Voice and Audio Activity" to cut off Google's ears.

You see, Google's listening game operates like a voice-activated search engine, triggered every time it hears a "Hey Google" command. Turning off this setting ensures that your voice interactions won't be stored on Google's servers, even if you're signed in.

Google says it only listens to small bits of conversations to recognize certain words that trigger its voice commands. This helps it respond when you say things like "Hey Google": "Google insists it only listens for wake-up words to respond to commands, but privacy concerns persist. Cybercriminals could potentially exploit stored data, posing a risk to your privacy and security: "When this voice and audio activity setting is turned off, recordings of voice interactions with Google Search, Assistant, and Maps will not be saved to your Google account on Google's servers, even if you are signed in," Google said in a statement. "If you turn off this voice and audio activity setting, previously saved audio is not deleted. You can delete your recordings at any time." the company added.

Even though Google, Amazon, and Apple say their virtual assistants only listen for commands and marketing purposes, it's still a big privacy worry. If hackers get into your account or your smart gadgets, they could listen to your phone recordings and swipe info from Google's stored data.

To stay safe, double-check the apps you download to make sure they're from legit sources like official stores, not sketchy third-party ones that might have malware. Also, look through your app settings to block access to your phone's microphone.