Google Assistant is getting a Guest mode for private voice searches
Google on Wednesday published a blog post all about security, reminding users that it takes precautions, like Safe Browsing, to keep people safe everyday. The company also took an opportunity to announce some new privacy features, including a “Guest mode” for Google Assistant that’s set to arrive in the coming weeks.
Guest mode can be enabled and disabled with a simple voice command. Once enabled, any voice interactions won’t be saved by Google, and the Assistant won’t pull data from your Google Account for personalized results.
Google Assistant’s Guest mode feature arrives following controversy over Google’s audio retention policies, when the search giant and other large tech companies came under fire for storing and reviewing audio recordings. The practice became a big scandal in 2019, prompting Google to become more transparent about audio recordings.
In fact, Google said that audio recordings are turned off for everyone by default. If you do want your audio recordings to be saved, you can opt into the program by enabling the Voice & Audio Activity (VAA) setting. Once opted in, any interactions that are saved can be deleted with your voice, or you can navigate to your Google account and delete Google Assistant interactions that way. For more information, you can ask Google Assistant “How do you keep my information private?” for answers about Google’s privacy policies.
Google has worked to introduce similar features to other services, including an Incognito mode in Google Maps. Turning Incognito mode on will prevent Google Maps from tracking where you’ve traveled and saving the places you’ve searched.
You’ll be able to use Google Assistant’s Guest mode in the coming weeks.