7

Google states that the Google Assistant (the personal assistant that runs on the Google Home, Pixel and the Allo app) uses 'conversation history' for targeted advertising:

Does Google use my conversation history to personalize the ads I see?

If you interact with the Google Assistant, we treat this similarly to searching on Google and may use these interactions to deliver more useful ads. You can delete past interactions with your Assistant at any time.

What exactly is Google using when it says 'conversation history' - is Google Home listening to everything so it can target advertisements or are my queries only stored after saying 'OK Google'?

Some sources suggest that the Google Home might even be recording what I listen to on the TV:

"That microphone will be a witness to every verbal interaction in the home. It will also know what you watch on TV, what you listen to, and, obviously, when there's no one home."

- Computerworld

8

On the Voice & Audio section of the Google My Activity page, you can see your history. The recordings it keeps are only after triggering it to wake up with the wake word (OK Google). It also has the ability to delete your history.

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  • 1
    What is stopping Google from recording your conversations? – grldsndrs Dec 27 '16 at 18:42
  • Nothing, really. But what's stopping your phone from recording all your conversations? User trust, privacy policies, and legal ramifications are the real answer. – jterrace Dec 27 '16 at 18:54
  • So its just a matter of time then. – grldsndrs Dec 27 '16 at 18:58
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    I wouldn't interpret it that way. The number of people that would need to be complacent in a secret spying operation would be huge and the potential legal consequences would be devastating. I don't see a large company like Google or Amazon ever doing this on purpose. It happened by accident with the Google maps in 2010 and even that was huge news: cnet.com/news/google-oops-we-spied-on-your-wi-fi – jterrace Dec 27 '16 at 19:06
  • 1
    Are you familiar with the UK's Investigatory Powers Act? It essentially requires UK companies to let them snoop on their customers. Here in the US Burr-Feinstein was defeated, but we are in for new politics next year. So I think may-be. – grldsndrs Dec 27 '16 at 20:22

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