Google will no longer store audio recordings from Assistant users by default
Taking a healthy step towards user privacy, Google has opted out all its Google Assistant users from having their audio recordings stores by the company. Google has reimplemented a program that uses humans to analyse and rate audio snippets and this move to no longer save audio recordings is a result of that.
From now on, if you want Google to store your audio recordings, there is honestly no reason for you to want this though, you will have to opt in to the program by enabling the Voice & Audio Activity (VAA) settings.
According to reports, Google is sending out emails to all users who have interacted with the Google Assistant through any app or device, like the smart speaker or Google Maps. The Verge is in possession of an email that explains that Google uses saved audio recordings to improve their audio recognition technologies.
If you want to help Google train the Assistant better and opt in for the program, you will be able to delete your audio recordings any time you want from your Web & App Activity dashboard. Google said that they also delete audio recordings when they aren’t needed to develop products and technologies.
The Verge explained in its report that your audio recordings are first associated with your account, then Google uses these snippets to improve voice matching. After that, the recording is ‘anonymised’ and reviewed by human reviewers, some of whom are third-party vendors.
Google has implemented new policy changes after it was revealed that Google and other large tech companies were storing and reviewing users’ audio recordings. This reveal created a huge furor last year forcing these companies to be more transparent about their practices.
Google made some significant changes to their audio retention policies last year stating that they will now allow humans to review recordings without user permission. The latest announcement is in line with Google putting their new policies into action.
If you have not received this email already, you should in the coming days and the correspondence will explain the new program to you and give you information about how you can delete your audio recordings.