Here we can see, “How to Stop Google From Listening”
Is it possible that your phone is constantly listening to you? Is Google recording everything you say? What can you do if this is the case?
These are valid questions in an age where every device has a microphone built by firms who love to track what you do. So let’s look at the facts around Google’s recordings and how to prevent your phone from listening to you.
Is Google on Android always listening?
Before we go any further, let’s go over what Google records from your Android smartphone. While we’ll go over how to stop Google from eavesdropping on your iPhone later, we’ll concentrate on Android for now because it’s more important.
Saying “OK Google” or “Hey Google” will cause your phone to listen for a command if you have a specific setting enabled. Your phone is listening for keywords before you utter this wake phrase, but it does not record everything you say and transmit it to Google.
Constantly recording everything a device hears, as with the Amazon Echo, would result in massive volumes of meaningless data. If you’re interested, we’ve looked into whether your phone listens to you for more relevant adverts.
You can utilize voice commands even if you don’t have the “OK Google” hotword enabled (which Google records too). When you tap the microphone icon in the search bar or use Google Assistant in any other way, you’ll be asked for a voice command right away.
Google records the voice commands you provide to your phone. For example, when you ask Google, “OK Google, how old is Jack Black?” it saves the question as well as a few seconds of previous audio.
How Do I Listen to My Google Recordings?
You can view all of your interactions with Google’s services through a portal. This includes voice recordings of your Google Assistant encounters. On your phone, go to the Google category in the Settings app to see this, but it’s a little easier on the web:
- Go to the My Activity page on Google. Everything from YouTube videos to apps you’ve opened on your phone will be visible.
- By clicking Filter by date & product at the top of the list, under the search box, you can limit the results to solely voice recordings.
- Only the Voice and Audio box should be selected as you scroll down. You can use the Filter by date area at the top to choose a time frame, such as the last 30 days.
- Click Apply.
Then, starting with the most recent, you’ll see a chronology of all the recordings Google has of your voice activity. To hear a recording, select View recording from the Details menu under an entry.
By default, this page groups event that are close together. If necessary, click a bundle to expand it or select Item view from the top-left to see them all individually.
How to Stop Google From Listening on Android
With a toggle in your Android settings, you can turn off Google’s voice recording. You can proceed further if you want after modifying this. The instructions below are for stock Android; your approach may differ slightly based on your device.
Turning off “OK Google” on your phone
The first step is to disable the “OK Google” detection on your Android phone, which may be done by following these steps:
- Go to your phone’s Settings and select the Google category.
- Next, select Account services from the Services menu.
- After that, select Search, Assistant, and Voice.
- On the next page, select Voice.
- You’ll notice an entry for Voice Match; tap it.
- To prevent “OK Google” detection, turn off the Hey Google slider.
- Tap the X icon next to their names at the bottom to delete Google’s profile of your voice used for this function from additional devices, or select Remove from eligible devices to delete them completely.
When you do this, Google Assistant on your Android phone will no longer reply to “OK Google.” As a result, your phone will no longer be listening to the buzzword all of the time.
Turn Off “OK Google” in Google Maps and Android Auto
You’ll need to disable Google Assistant speech detection for Google Maps and Android Auto individually if you don’t want Google to listen while you’re driving.
- Open the Android Auto app to disable “Hey Google” on Android Auto. Next, select Settings from the left menu, then press the “Hey Google” detection entry.
- Instead, open Google Maps and tap your profile image in the top-right corner to disable it. Select Settings > Navigation > Google Assistant settings > “Hey Google” detection from the drop-down menu.
In either case, disable the While driving slider on the resulting page to turn off Google Assistant detection in Google Maps and Android Auto.
You may not want to disable “Hey Google” for these scenarios because hands-free access is safer to listen to music and get directions while driving.
Turn Off Microphone Access for the Google App
You may go even further by denying the Google app access to your microphone:
- Select Apps & Notifications from your phone’s Settings menu.
- To get a complete list of X apps, tap See all X apps.
- Next, select Google from the drop-down menu.
- Select Microphone from the Permissions menu.
- Deny the permission if you want to. You’ll be prompted to accept the fact that some elements of your device may not function properly, which is typical.
How to Disable Google Assistant Completely
You can entirely disable the Google Assistant if you prefer:
- Go to your phone’s Settings and select the Google category.
- Select Account Services > Search, Assistant, and Voice from the drop-down menu.
- Select Google Assistant from the drop-down menu.
- Select General from the list of All Settings at the bottom of the page.
- To turn off Google Assistant, move the slider to the off position. You’ll need to double-check your decision before proceeding.
How to Stop Google From Listening on Your iPhone
Google’s presence is presumably less pervasive if you use an iPhone. Google Assistant is a different app on iOS. Because it can’t listen for the “Hey Google” keyword unless the app is open, you don’t have to worry about it listening all the time. Remove Google Assistant if you’re worried about it.
In the meanwhile, you can disable “OK Google” detection in the main Google iPhone app.
- Open the app, select Settings from the top-right corner of your profile image.
- To prevent the app from launching searches using your voice, go to Voice and Assistant, then disable the “OK Google” hotword slider.
- You can also refuse microphone rights for the Google app if you want to go even farther (and the Google Assistant app, if you keep it around).
- To do so, navigate to Settings > Privacy > Microphone on your iPhone. If you turn off the microphone access slider for Google and Google Assistant, they won’t be able to use it at all.
How to Turn Off Google Voice History
Turning off “OK Google” or Google Assistant on your phone does not affect other devices you might have, such as a tablet or a Google Home. Furthermore, if you use Chrome to search by voice, Google may keep your voice data.
Follow these steps to pause voice history for your entire Google account:
- Go to Google’s Activity Controls page and sign in using your Google account if you need to.
- Above the list of things, select the Web & App Activity area.
- To prevent Google from associating your voice activity to your account, uncheck the Include audio recordings option.
This will prevent Google from retaining voice function audio recordings on your account, which is your goal when you want Google to cease listening.
You should also delete any previous recordings that Google has saved. Be advised that this will remove all of your Google account’s web activities, not just voice recordings. To erase the last movement, follow these steps:
- To return the Google My Activity page, click the back arrow.
- Then, on the left side, click Delete activity.
- To erase everything, select All time or Custom range to create your period. To delete everything you’ve selected, click Delete.
Automatically Delete Google History After a Set Time
After a particular period has passed, Google allows you to erase activity automatically. This cuts down on the quantity of data the corporation stores on you without requiring you to do it manually all of the time.
Click Web & App Activity once more on the same Google My Activity screen. Then, click Auto-delete near the bottom of the box. You can select to have your Google activity deleted automatically after three months, 18 months, 36 months, or never.
If you’ve disabled voice data as described above, you won’t need to do this. However, keep in mind that if you keep voice data-enabled, this will delete all web activity, not just voice recordings.
What Does Google Do With Voice Data?
It’s vital to understand that only you have access to the voice data stored in your Google account, not Google. That is until an attacker infiltrates Google.
Google notes that it uses your speech activity across various platforms to help you receive better results, such as:
- Getting to know the sound of your voice.
- Learning how to speak words and phrases correctly.
- Knowing what you mean when you say “OK Google.”
- Improving speech recognition throughout Google’s voice-activated products.
All of this is helpful, but the fact that one of the world’s largest organizations is keeping track of what you say is disturbing. Based on what you say, an algorithm might quickly go through this data and figure out what you’re interested in.
Using Google Assistant Without Voice
Even if you don’t use your voice, you can still benefit from Google Assistant unless you turn it off totally.
Tap the keyboard symbol in the bottom-right corner once you’ve started Google Assistant. You can use this to give Google Assistant command. It will answer in the same way that you would if you had uttered it.
This is less convenient, but additional anonymity comes at a price. Of course, Google can still know what you’re interested in and monitor you if you use Google Assistant at all. If you’d prefer not to deal with this, consider DuckDuckGo for Android.
Is My Phone Listening? You’re in Control
What Google listens for on your Android phone, how to remove your voice history data, and how to stop this recording have all been covered. Disabling these features may cause some difficulty, but knowing that Google isn’t recording what you say is worth it.
Your PC most likely contains a microphone as well. Don’t forget that this can also be a security issue.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any queries or comments.
- Does Google keep an ear to the ground?
Siri, Alexa, and Google Voice all pay attention to you. Unfortunately, the microphone is turned on by default in the factory settings. As a result, they must be “taught” to hear you, which can be done with an active microphone.
- Why does Google track our every move?
Quite a bit. Google keeps track of your search and browsing histories, as well as the websites you visit. It also produces a private map of your activities with signed-in devices, which the tech giant collects to better map searches “and more.”
- Does my phone keep an eye on me?
On Android, navigate to Settings > Network & Internet > Data Usage to check your mobile data usage. The entire amount of cellular data utilized by your phone is displayed under Mobile. To view how your data usage has evolved, tap Mobile Data Usage. You can see if there have been any recent spikes from here.
- Google/Android STILL listening after trying to disable everything possible?!!
- I know my phone is listening to me. How can I make it stop? …or can I?