We’re all fairly used to the idea of voice assistants such as Google Assistant, always being there to help us solve important questions such as “Which animal has the largest feet,” or “what’s the weather outside my door?” There’s a flip side to all of that helpfulness though, with Google listening to literally everything you say, waiting for those all-important wake words to do your bidding.
Sure, your phone or smart speaker uses just the audio around when you said “OK Google” or “Hey Google,” but it’s still listening in all the time. That’s kind of creepy if you start to think about it. Those interactions are recorded as well and kept to train Google’s algorithms so the next time someone asks that question, the voice assistant has an easier time of giving the information they want. Check it out, go to My Google Activity, and filter by “date & product'” then “voice & audio.”
If you’re slightly freaked by how much of your own voice Google has on tap, here’s how to stop letting Google listen to you.
Okay, this is the first part of a multi-part walkthrough aimed at stopping Google from listening to everything in the immediate vicinity of your smartphone. First on the chopping block, OK Google.
See, turning OK Google off only turns it off for normal use, it’s still listening all the time when you use Android Auto. That’s a great safety feature, enabling you to use voice commands without taking your hands off the wheel, but we want Google to stop listening completely.
Yes, Google listens to you all the damn time on your Android phone. Live with it, or turn it all off.
Now once you’ve done all of that, your Android phone won’t be able to listen to you. Your microphone will still work for recording audio or phone calls, just Google won’t be listening in.
What do you think? Plan on disabling “Ok Googe” from your smartphone? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.