Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Google: Recording Your Conversations And Storing The Audio

Google is now recording entire conversations by turning users smartphones into listening devices and capturing intimate conversations then storing the audio.

If you run Android software on your smartphone, Google is most likely recording you every day without your consent or knowledge.

In some cases, if the user of a smartphone just says "OK" in conversation, it automatically triggers the phone into a listening device. Google will then upload the audio file of your conversation to its computer servers dubbed "the cloud".

The files can then be accessed from anywhere in the world, meaning that any device logged into your personal Gmail or Google account can access your most intimate conversations and secrets.
These files are accessible from absolutely anywhere in the world - as long as you have an internet connection.

The Sun reports The Silicon Valley giant states on its terms and conditions that it keeps these recordings for "improving speech recognition against all Google products that use your voice".

It recently launched a smart assistant, Google Home.

Mundane voice recordings from the general public will help its artificial intelligence that runs Google Home, by teaching it how humans naturally communicate.In simple terms: it's a free language class for its software.

How to find out exactly what Google knows about you

First, you'll need to be signed into your Gmail or Google account.Once you've done that, type "" 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.This includes Maps searches and YouTube videos you've watched.Click on "Activity Controls "on the left-hand side of the page.Under "Web and App Activity", click "Manage Activity".If Google's keeping tabs on you, there should be a stream of web pages and map searches that show up in chronological order.You can randomly delete searches, or select all the searches to make them disappear.

But Google is, first and foremost, an advertising company and its largest product is a targeted advert service, which it sells to the biggest brands in the world.

Billions of annual web searches, location and email data allow it to target the population with specialised marketing - and there is no reason why it couldn't do the same with your voice data, too.
So, now for the important question: how can I listen to the sound files Google has from my life?

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 "" 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.

  • Under the tab Voice and Audio Activity, you'll find a list of recordings in chronological order.
  • Before you start listening, you might want to plug your headphones in.

You can check for your web activity by clicking here

Scroll down Activity Controls to find the section titled Voice & Audio

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You'll have to listen to the cringe-worthy sounds of you buying a pack of fags in the newsagent or making small talk at the bus stop.

But there might also be all lots of salacious gossip that you wouldn't want anybody else to hear.

You'll be shocked to hear what it's picked up, however.

The Sun Online discovered recordings from when the phone's owner was not in the room - and even revealed a romantic interlude between two mystery colleagues.

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.

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