You will soon be able to make it harder to trigger Google Assistant
As handy as voice-enabled virtual assistants can be, they come with a lot of baggage. Many people are nervous about the information these devices can collect without their knowledge. Having an “always listening” speaker in your vicinity at all times is, frankly, scary to a lot of people. This is a constant battle for companies like Google, and they are continuing to take steps to ensure people’s privacy when it comes to Google Assistant.
Today, the company announced a number of new privacy-centric features for Google Assistant. The one that should make a lot of people happy is new sensitivity options for the “OK/Hey Google” command. We’ve all had those times where Google butts into a conversation without being asked anything. Google says the sensitivity controls will be coming “soon.”
Next up, Google reiterates that audio data is not collected by default (even though they heavily encourage you to opt-in). Google is making the setup process more clear about what data is collected to improve Google Assistant. You’ll have to re-confirm the Voice & Audio Activity setting to be enabled if you wish to be included in the human review process. That means no action is required if you don’t want real humans to review your audio snippets.
Google says the goal for all of these updates is to “vastly reduce the amount of audio data we store.” When it comes to collecting personal data, it’s always good to give more control to the users. However, it’s even more important to not require user input to ensure privacy. Be on the lookout for these updates later this year.