OK Google! This simple phrase converts Android smartphones into an endless treasure trove of instant searches controlled by simple voice commands. In many ways, the future is already here but do you know that Google actually stores records of every voice search you carry out? The data it collects is used to improve and enhance its search features, and it also improves Google’s understanding of regional dialects, but it may not be reassuring for everyone to know that Google actually maintains voice logs of historical searches.
In fact, you can even go back and listen to all the Google voice searches you have carried out so far. For a lot of people, this may throw up some embarrassing information, and for most, this may even represent a surprising breach of privacy violations.
Where can you find this information online?
In June 2015, Google launched a unified portal for all activities and information related to user’s Google accounts and privacy settings. This portal included several types of information such as search history, location history, YouTube viewing history and much more. This portal also includes a section wherein users can listen to their archived voice searches.
To get hold of this information pertaining to your Google account and search history, follow the steps given below:
- Go to history.google.com and log in to your Google account
- Click on the 3 bars menu option in the top-left corner
- Click on Voice and Audio Activity
- Here you can see the archived data of all the voice searches you have carried out
- You can also toggle ON or OFF the option to store your voice and audio inputs
In addition to all this information, this portal at history.google.com also provides some other insights into all the online activities you have carried out while signed in to your Google account in the past. The following information can be viewed here:
- Web searches and browsing history
- Location history and places you go
- Synchronized data from calendar, contacts and more from all devices
- Search history on YouTube
- Viewed videos history on YouTube
What Google does with all this data is anyone’s guess though, but their user policies and privacy policies give it the right to collect all this data as it allows them to provide us with better features, services and functionalities.
We would like to hear from you and know what you think. Do you think it is a good idea that Google saves this data, or is it a threat towards individual privacy and data rights? Let us know in the comments section below.