A Googler explains why Google Home suggests a switch to different language settings for some users (always listening)
Voice assistant software like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri often come under fire and are declared as ‘snooping’ software that record each and every word you say and feed it to a big bad hivemind AI situated somewhere at the company’s HQ for some sinister purpose.
However, always listening is different from always recording and software like these thankfully go for the former.
After all, how else can one expect the Google Assistant to always spring to life, ready with a response upon the utterance of hotwords like “Hey Google?”
Still, anything you say after the “Hey Google” or “OK Google” commands is indeed recorded and saved by Google. This is done to improve the accuracy of results and keep your data in sync across devices with your Google account logged in.
Such data is deleted automatically after 18 months though. Google even offers an option to delete voice data manually. Doing that, however, may affect the Assistant’s ability to give smart, personalized suggestions. More on that later.
Anyway, Google Home devices have recently managed to arouse suspicions of snooping because of a really odd behavior.
A user posted a couple of days back on Reddit saying that learning French out loud resulted in Google Home eerily suggesting a switch of their language settings to French. Yikes!
Another user reported a similar incident stating that speaking Spanish around Google Home devices not only triggered the language settings change prompt, but also resulted in YouTube ads and Google opinion rewards coming through in Spanish for them.
Google sure has some explaining to do here and thankfully, an alleged Googler has given out a reason for such behavior:
Well, that does help clear up some stuff. The Googler says that the suggestion to switch language on Google Home could be because it overhears Spanish after the hotword is triggered.
We would still take the information with a pinch of salt though if we were you.
Still unsatisfied? Then your best bet would be to disable all audio recordings pinched by Google. To do this, simply follow the steps given below:
1. Go to your Google Account.
2. On the left navigation panel, click Data & personalization.
3. In the Activity controls panel, click Web & App Activity.
4. Check or uncheck the box next to “Include audio recordings” to turn the setting on or off.
Alternatively, you can also manually access all of your Google’s account saved voice data and delete it by following the procedure given in this official support article.
PiunikaWeb started purely as an investigative tech journalism website with a main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Fox News, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, MacRumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.