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Let Google Assistant learn some respect for your privacy with these 3 steps



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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 ($ 99 at Walmart) To manage your digital life requires a consideration regarding your privacy, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to give up all your secrets just to get your smart loudspeaker to 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 to know what info your Google Home can use without and still works the way you want.

Because technical companies such as Google face tougher public inquiries following a scourge of privacy violations in recent years, including evidence revealed last month that Google has secretly provided external advertisers with personal data from Google users, many consumer 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 customers can access and delete and limit the data collected about them.

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 refine your privacy settings.

First find everything that Google Assistant has with you

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

1. Open your Google Home app.

2. Tap your personal icon (the small silhouette in a circle) in the lower right corner.

3. Tap under the heading Google Assistant More settings .

4. Select U in the menu bar at the top.

5. 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 understand your voice and better handle future commands but is not crucial for the operation of the device. To delete this and all other data, starting with the screen Your data in the screen Assistant :

1. On the page Your data on the page Assistant under Your activity Assistant 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 go to 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. The app indicates: "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 three or 18 months. From the main page Google Assistant Activity :

1. Scroll down to Keep activity until you delete it manually and tap Select to delete automatically .

2. Change the setting to 18 or 3 months and tap Next .

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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Google Nest Hub also 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

Pause all activity

for the most extreme privacy option

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 how good Google Assistant works. If your privacy is of the utmost importance to you and you are willing to occasionally resolve a few issues, 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 through Google services ." At the bottom of that screen, press Pause to prevent Google from registering your activity. Please note 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 you press Pause, you & # 39; returns to the main page Google Assistant activity .

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Smart speakers are not the only gadgets to watch out for – Sony's Aibo robot dog is just one of many smart devices on the market that listen, watch and remember.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

That's all – 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 concerned about 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 devices in the wild.

Not to mention smart speakers are just the beginning: nowadays robotic dogs record your face and voice, Amazon uses human reviewers to solve security camera & # 39; s issues and Facebook admits that employees can let you have video calls listen.

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