Hands-free voice searching is a great way to make technology more interactive and user-friendly. From getting directions when driving to searching for a suitable solvent to get that mess off your hands, Google Voice Search is just another way technology is making our lives that little bit easier. But have you ever considered that your words are being recorded?
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Google Voice Search
Google is by far the most popular way search engine currently in use, with a jaw-dropping 71% of the desktop search engine market share. The ability to search using voice alone is convenient and straight-forward but, like any human-technology interface, requires data in order to perform optimally. Recording and analysing the voice searches made by users is one way in which Google improves its accuracy.
The fact that search information is recorded is fairly old news. As we become increasingly reliant upon technology to perform routine daily tasks, our sensitivity to the continuous monitoring of our browsing habits is diminishing. However, the thought of what we say being recorded without our knowledge has a different feel about it somehow.
While not exactly advertised, Google has provided an easy way to check and delete what they've recorded you saying. That night you drank too much and asked Google Voice Search to help you settle that embarrassing bet? That's there. The time you shouted 'OK Google, how do you pick a handcuffs lock with a pen'? Yep, you can relive that too.
According to The Independent, the portal has been active since June 2015; plenty of fun experiences for you to revisit whilst scrabbling for the delete button.
How Do I Get Rid Of This?!
OK, no need to panic. Google has provided you with a quick and easy way to permanently destroy all record of your oddball verbal search history. You don't even have to listen to your own voice (why do our voices sound so weird to ourselves?), as there's an option to delete the lot in one hit.
Your complete Google search history is found on the My Activity page, where they've included nifty tools for seeing and controlling your data. The Voice and Audio site is where you'll find recordings of your lovely morning voice, croaking questions about cornflakes at your smart and patient phone.
To delete individual recordings, tick the box beside each one and click Delete at the top of the page. You can use the Delete activity by function to only delete specific topics in your search history. You can also use this function to delete all searches made from a particular product or within a certain date range. To delete all, change the Delete by date time to All time.
See? Nothing to worry about. I bet you edit your language next time you use this feature, though.
Via: The Independent
Written by Jody Binns