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Google has been recording you. Here’s how to delete the files

October 20, 2015

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You probably know that Google keeps track of everything you type into its search bar, just like it scans your email to “analyze your content.”

But what you may not realize is that Google has been recording you too, as the Guardian points out. The recording isn’t necessarily being conducted in the NSA-manner Edward Snowden talked about recently. Still, if you’ve used Google’s voice-control features (normally prompted after saying “OK Google”), everything you’ve spoken to the service has been recorded. Fortunately, Google does allow you to listen to yourself and clear that history.

If you visit Google’s History site and go to the Voice & Audio Activity tab, you can listen to what you’ve asked Google and delete all the files. You can also change the settings to make sure it doesn’t record you again.

There have been suggestions that Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana have also been recording what users say—but there’s apparently no way to delete those recordings. Amazon’s Echo is supposedly the worst of all these services, seeing as it’s recording everything since it’s always on. (It doesn’t have to be prompted to turn on like the others.) You can clear the history of Amazon Echo, however.