MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

How Google is secretly recording YOU through your mobile

Posted by Martin C. Fox on August 23, 2017

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4295350/did-you-know-google-has-been-secretly-recording-you-heres-how-to-find-the-creepy-audio-files-that-are-monitoring-your-conversations-every-day/

If you own an Android phone, it’s likely that you’ve used Google’s Assistant, which is similar to Apple’s Siri.

Google says it only turns on and begins recording when you utter the words “OK Google”.

But a Sun investigation has found that the virtual assistant is a little hard of hearing.

In some cases, just saying “OK” in conversation prompted it to switch on your phone and record around 20 seconds of audio.

It regularly switches on the microphone as you go about your day-to-day activities, none the wiser.

How can I listen back to the audio Google has recorded from my phone?

It’s pretty easy.

Unlike Apple, who does not publicise any of the voice data it stores through Siri, Google is pretty transparent – giving you full access to your audio.

First, you’ll need to be signed into your Gmail or Google account.

Once you’ve done that, type “history.google.com/history” into your web browser.

You’ll be taken to a hub which contains your entire digital footprint, so be careful, it could make for some grim reading.

How do I switch it off?

It is possible to stop Google from storing so much info in the future.

Go back to “Activity controls” and under “Web & App activity” you should see a blue toggle.

You can switch this off, but be warned. Officially you have merely “paused” the recordings – so keep checking back on a regular basis to ensure that the terms and conditions don’t change in the future and you aren’t auto-enrolled when a new Android update comes along.

Apple iPhone users aren’t any better off.

The tech giant also stores your voice recordings to improve its Siri assistant – but you aren’t able to access them.

Apple says that the recordings are anonymised after 18 months, so nobody would be able to figure out who is speaking.

More details on how to erase your history is in the article.

Be seeing you

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I am not a number. I am a free man!

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