Google Assistant Will No Longer Save As Much of Your Voice Recordings

Posted on September 23, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Google with 5 Comments

Google and a couple of other large tech companies were under a lot of criticism after the companies were found to be using real humans to review your voice recordings collected from personal assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. Google is today announcing some changes to the way it deals with voice recordings collected using Assistant.

Google clarified today that the company doesn’t store your audio data by default. The company says it never stored audio data by default, and it’s part of an opt-in experience called Voice & Audio Activity (VAA) that allows users to opt-in to help Assistant better recognize their voice over time. The company’s also updating the experience for opting into VAA that emphasizes the fact that human reviewers are used to listen to your audio data in order to help improve speech recognition.

More importantly, Google says it will start to delete more audio data automatically. The company is already introducing new privacy filters to your audio data to make sure none of your personal details are identifiable with your voice recordings in the human review process. In the future, Google will allow users to control the sensitivity detection of “Hey Google” to help avoid Google from storing voice recordings from unintentional activations. The company says it’s even updating its policy to reduce the amount of audio data it stores, deleting data that’s older than a few months on a frequent basis. The change will come into effect later this year.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Google Assistant Will No Longer Save As Much of Your Voice Recordings”

  1. dontbeevil

    sure sure sure ... really!

  2. nicholas_kathrein

    It's good that all the companies are seeing that it's not in their interest to hold these recordings for longer than it is needed. With new recordings coming in every second their really is no need to keep them for more than a few months.

  3. drprw

    I hate to be that person (but I'm going to be). It's "... Save as many...". "Much" is for quantities you cannot physically count, like love. And I mean that with much love.

  4. codymesh

    the problem is that Google (and other companies) were allowed to save recordings in the first place. These things need some privacy framework regulation or something.

  5. youwerewarned

    Perhaps getting off your dead ass and flipping a light switch is an alternative? And what couch-potato eats air-popped corn anyway? No Whirley-Pop API? No way.