How Google’s been recording your conversations without you knowing

Android - Pixabay | mammela


Is it a crime to record someone without them knowing? Well yes… and no. In the UK it enters a massive grey area with specific situations depicting different results. In short, Google isn’t breaking the law by recording our conversations. However are they stepping over a moral line?

So what’s actually happening here? Well just as you’d expect if you visit history.google.com/history, you’ll be confronted with an array of analytics base off your previous search results. This isn’t the problem however, as we’ve known Google’s been doing this for some time, the real problem comes to fruition when you go to the ‘Voice and Audio Activity‘ section. In theory this section functions in a very similar way, where it will record requests on the OK Google platform. An example of this being: Trains to Cardiff at 10 pm.

An example of 'transcript not available' audio clips.

An example of ‘transcript not available’ audio clips.

This is all well and good, however the real problem arises when  Google triggers on a word like ‘Okay’ or similar and records it’s surroundings when no real request is taking place. This could be as part of a normal conversation between you and colleges or friends or could be a remark from a TV or Internet show. None the less Google will continue to record it’s surroundings. A Good way to pick these out from the rest is to look for ‘Transcript Not Available’ on the list.

Do you think this is a breach of your security or do you feel this is a needed feature? Let us know below.

James Stevenson

Im a Cyber Security enthusiast that loves all things to do with technology. I'm specifically interested in cyber security and ethical hacking.

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  • Total Security

    Definitely a needed feature, because otherwise speech recognition wouldn’t be as good and many personal things are not recorded.

    • That’s true and at the end of the day, as with everything, it comes down to security v.s. convenience and where people want to stand on that line.