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Home / Tips and Tricks / Google Home and Google Nest Security Checklist: Do this now to stop sharing private data

Google Home and Google Nest Security Checklist: Do this now to stop sharing private data



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Google Home devices have a physical mute switch, but it completely disables the microphone. If you want to use voice commands with your device but still want to determine how much voice data Google Assistant stores, you must change some settings.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Trusting Google Home (

$ 79 at Walmart

) to manage your digital life requires something of a consideration regarding your privacy but that does not necessarily mean that you must give up all your secrets to smart speaker work for you . It is quite possible, through a combination of security settings and responsible privacy practices, to minimize the amount and type of data that you share with Google and still benefit from the hands-free convenience that Google Home offers. The key is knowing how much information your Google Home can use without and still works the way you want.

Because technical companies such as Google are being investigated more rigorously following a scourge of privacy violations in recent years, including proof that it was last revealed In the month that Google steals the personal data of its users to external advertisers many people deny services that demand too much of their information. In response, many technology companies – including Google – are becoming more transparent with their data practices by setting up portals where you can access, delete and limit the data collected about you.

If you love your Google Home, but want to limit the voice recordings, location information, and other personal information that it stores, these are the settings that you need to adjust to fine-tune your privacy settings. [19659009] Check which actions you have enabled

Unlike on Amazon Echo devices with Alexa for which you must enable third-party skills before you can use them, most Google Assistant actions are embedded in the software and only need a voice command to activate. That places the most responsibility for protecting your privacy on Google. That said, some actions require that you set them up, especially when you connect smart home devices such as lighting and door locks to Google Home. To view a list of all the actions that you have manually enabled:

1. Open the app Google Assistant on your mobile device. (If you don't have the Assistant app, go to the iOS App Store or Google Play and download it.)

2. Tap the explore icon (the small compass needle in a circle) in the lower left corner.

3. Scroll all the way down and tap Your actions .

4. Tap Linked .

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Rick Osterloh of Google discusses user privacy during the company's recent event in New York. Sarah Tew / CNET

Here you can see all the actions that you have specifically authorized, most likely music services (such as Pandora or Spotify) or smart home devices (such as Nest or Wemo). If you see one that you do not recognize or no longer need (for example, if you have changed your music service), you can delete it as follows:

1. Tap the icon for more information (three horizontal lines) to the right of the linked service that you want to delete.

2. Scroll down to Account status .

3. Disconnect the tap .

4. When the app asks you for confirmation, tap Unlink .

Find everything that Google Assistant has on you

First you want to navigate to the Settings page with all the information that Google has kept you.

1. Open your Google Home app.

2. Tap your personal icon (this can be your photo or a silhouette) in the upper right corner.

3. Select You in the menu bar at the top.

4. Tap Your details in the Assistant .

Here you can go back as far as your record goes through all the information that Google Assistant has stored about you. You can delete items one by one by tapping the trash can icon next to each item, or you can follow the following set of steps to delete everything.

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Every interaction you have with Google Home is recorded, including audio recordings of your voice commands, unless you tell Google Assistant not to .


Google

Delete some or all of your private data

Google Assistant saves audio recordings of every voice command that Google Home has ever heard (including fake triggers), helping the software to understand your voice and better handle future commands but is not crucial for the operation of the device. Here's how you can delete that and all other information:

1. Go to the Your information on the page Assistant . Under Your Assistant Activity tap My Activity .

2. To the right of the search bar at the top of the page, tap the icon of three stacked points .

3. Tap Delete activity by .

4. If you want to start again with a clean slate, tap Always . Otherwise you can choose to delete all data collected in the Last hour Last day or create a custom range for example from the day you started Google Use at home until last month.

5. The app asks you to confirm that you want to delete your Google Assistant activity for the specified period. Tap Delete to confirm.

6. You see this message: "Delete complete." In the lower right corner, tap Got it to return to the main page Google Assistant activity .

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Choose how often your data is deleted

If you don't mind having Google Assistant remember your recent interactions with it, you can set the data to be deleted automatically after 3 or 18 months. From the main page Google Assistant Activity :

1. Tap the page on the page Assistant under Your activity Assistant tap My activity and and then tap the icon of three stacked ] dots to the right of the search bar at the top.

2. Tap Keep activity and then choose whether you want to keep activity forever (Save until I manually remove ), Save for 18 months or Store for 3 months .

3. When the app asks you to confirm the change, browse to the bottom of the page and tap Confirm .

4. Tap Got it to return to the main page Google Assistant activity .

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The Google Nest Hub has a physical mute switch, but the Google Nest Hub Max, which has a webcam, has no physical shutter to cover the camera.


Chris Monroe / CNET

The most extreme privacy option: pause all activity

Instead of regular purges, you can set up Google Assistant to keep no logs of your data at all but that can cause some hiccups with how well Google Assistant -functions. If your privacy is of the utmost importance to you and you want to solve a few problems from time to time, go to the main page Google Assistant Activity :

1. Scroll down to Web and app activity is enabled and tap Change setting .

3. Turn off the switch next to Web and app activity .

4. A screen appears warning you that "pausing Web and app activity may limit or disable more personalized experiences in Google services ." At the bottom of that screen, press Pause to prevent Google from registering your activity. Keep in mind that changing this setting does not remove your personal information from Google, but that Google Assistant only stops recording more information in the future.

After pressing Pause, you will return to the Google Assistant Activity page.

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Smart speakers are not the only gadgets that watch us – Sony & Aibo robotic dog is just one of many smart ones devices on the market that listen, watch and remember.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

That's it – now you don't have to provide an open season for your private life or your personal information to enjoy your Google Home smart speaker or hub. This can be particularly important if you are worried about Google restarting the man-driven quality assurance program that it suspended in August, with reviewers listening to recordings collected from many of the more than 3.2 million Google Home programs. devices in the wild.

Not to mention, smart speakers are just the beginning: nowadays robotic dogs register your face and voice Amazon uses human reviewers to solve security camera issues and Facebook admits to having employees listen to your video calls .

Originally published last year.


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