Google records your voice searches — and you can hear them all

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Ok Google is listening... and recording. Photo: Google
Ok Google is listening… and recording. Photo: Google

Google is incredibly accurate at understanding voice searches, which makes it super useful on mobile when you might want to find information without using your hands. But did you know that the company records every single voice search you make?

What’s more, you can listen back to each and every one.

Don’t believe us? Visit your “Voice & Audio Activity” page in the Google Dashboard and you’ll find a lost list of all the voice searches you’ve made (assuming you use it a lot). You’ll also find transcripts of each one, and a play button that lets you listen to the search recording.

Google records your voice searches to improve its service, it says, and to provide you with tailored ads (obviously). The company does this when you use regular, text-based search — so why not when you use your voice?

Personally, I don’t feel like there’s a massive difference, but if this kind of thing concerns you, you’ll be pleased to know you can delete all of the search recordings that have been saved. The bad news is that you cannot disable recording altogether without also killing features like “Ok Google,” too.

“Pausing Voice & Audio Activity may limit or disable features such as using “Ok Google” to start a voice search and reduce the accuracy of speech recognition across Google products that use your voice,” a warning explains.

At least Google is open about this… right?