OK Google: Where Do You Store Recordings Of My Commands?

October 29, 2015

Sure, our smartphones know a lot about who we are.

If you have an Android smartphone, you may not know that Google saves all of the voice commands you give it. They’re archived online in your Google account.

Google says it keeps the audio search information to improve its voice recognition. Android users can opt out, which keeps your recordings anonymous. (Apple also stores voice commands collected by Siri users, though they’re not so obviously associated to users.)

You can find your audio commands — as well as other histories, like all of the YouTube videos you’ve searched for and watched — by visiting your Google history page. You can disable this storage feature by managing your activity.

Otherwise, you can look through and listen to your Google voice searches — all those times you said “OK Google” and asked for directions, set alarms, dictated texts and searched for answers to the many questions that pop in your head throughout the day.

NPR producer Nick Fountain — who apparently has nothing to hide — shared his Google voice archive. Yes, it’s an eerie reminder of how much is shared with Google. It also plays like a perfect distillation of life.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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