Employee listening to Google Assistant recordings was suspended in August after the practice surfaced. Now, to become more transparent, the tool will signal in its settings that your audios can be heard by other people.
Google said it will update its page to make it clear that humans will be able to hear the content if the “Voice and audio activity” option is enabled. It can be accessed on this link, but, at least in the Portuguese version, it still doesn’t have the new warning.
According to the company, the option allows you to store and analyze audios, but it is not activated by default. Even before it was revealed that the recordings were heard by third parties, users had to give their permission for this to happen. “This has been the case and will remain unchanged,” he explains.
The transcript would be used only to help the tool recognize different languages and accents. Still, the company admits problems with the practice. “It is clear that we have not met our high standards in facilitating an understanding of how your data is used and we apologize.”
Google also promised that later this year, it will automatically delete very old audios. It was unclear what would be considered old, but the company said it would “delete the vast majority of audio data associated with your account for more than a few months”.
In addition, Google should also make improvements to prevent accidental recordings. The company says it already deletes audios when it realizes they were created accidentally. Soon, it will also have a feature to adjust the sensitivity of the Wizard.
With the change, it will be possible to determine how the tool should handle phrases that look like “OK, Google”. The goal, according to the company, is to give you more control so you can prevent recordings without your consent.