Want to prevent people eavesdropping on your audio? Google’s all ears

Weblog: Google Assistant will no longer default-save recordings following privacy concerns

If a user wants their audio data saved they must now opt in to Voice & Audio Activity or the VAA setting in Google Assistant.

If a user wants their audio data saved they must now opt in to Voice & Audio Activity or the VAA setting in Google Assistant.

 

Responding to criticism over how it handles user audio data, Google has announced it will no longer save audio recordings by default. If a user wants their audio data saved they must now opt in to Voice & Audio Activity or the VAA setting in Google Assistant.

Additionally, Google says that although it already deletes data recorded in error, ie when Assistant mistakes other words or audio for “Hey, Google”, it is working to make this setting more sensitive in order to better detect unintentional activations because these, in the past, have been listened to as part of its review process.

And Google is vowing to add more security around the chunks of audio that go through the human review process. “Audio snippets are never associated with any user accounts and language experts only listen to a small set of queries (around 0.2 per cent of all user audio snippets), only from users with VAA turned on,” explained Nino Tasca, senior product manager for Google Assistant.

“Going forward, we’re adding greater security protections to this process, including an extra layer of privacy filters.”

https://www.blog.google/products/assistant/doing-more-protect-your-privacy-assistant/