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Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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How to ask Google Assistant to erase conversations that you don’t want to hear

there's a quick command to get Google to erase the last thing you've written

Talking to Google Assistant can be an easy way to answer questions, run your smart home, or ask for the weather. But every once in a while, the assistant may answer a question you didn’t ask, or it may unintentionally capture a snippet from a conversation you didn’t want to hear.

Google saves almost everything you do when logging into your Google account on a phone, so it’s understandable that you may not want Google to have archives of conversations with which you don’t specifically ask for help from Assistant. Especially after Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft were caught by contractors earlier this year to listen to voice recordings captured by their virtual assistants, some of which were accidentally captured and involved sensitive private information.

But there’s a quick command to get Google to erase the last thing you’ve written: just say “Hey Google, it wasn’t for you,” and Google Assistant will delete the last message you’ve asked, as Droid-Life stated. I checked it, and it looked like it was working as planned. I asked Google Assistant what the weather was, and that appeared on my account’s My Activity page. My concern about the weather had vanished from the site when I followed up by saying that recording wasn’t for Assistant.

According to a Google support page, you can also say the following phrases to erase recordings over certain periods of time:

  • “Hey Google, delete my last conversation.”
  • “Hey Google, delete today’s activity.”
  • “Hey Google, delete this week’s activity.”
  • “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you” to delete the last thing you said.

And you can do that from the Google Assistant Activity dashboard if you want to remove individual recordings, anything you’ve ever told Google Assistant, or have Google automatically delete recordings after three or 18 months.

Likewise, you can ask Amazon’s Alexa to delete your voice recordings, even if you need to open the Alexa device settings and turn on “Enable Voice Deletion” to do so. Once that’s done, you can say “Alexa, delete what I’ve just said” to delete the last thing you’ve asked or “Alexa, delete all I’ve said today” to delete recordings that day. You can also use the Alexa app or on your Alexa Privacy site to remove recordings individually, in batches, or set up automatic deletions.

 

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