Google Assistant is built
to keep your information
private, safe, and secure.

When you use Google Assistant, you trust us with your data, and it’s our responsibility to protect and respect it. Privacy is personal. That’s why we build simple privacy controls to help you choose what’s right for you. Explore this page to learn more about how Google Assistant works, your built-in privacy controls, answers to common questions, and more.

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Starts in standby

Google Assistant is designed to wait in standby mode until it is activated, like when you say “Hey Google.” When in standby mode, your Assistant won’t send what you are saying to Google or anyone else.

Is Google Assistant recording everything I say?

No. Google Assistant is designed to wait in standby mode until it is activated, like when you say “Hey Google.” When in standby mode, your Assistant won’t send what you are saying to Google or anyone else.

What is Google Assistant doing when it is in standby mode?

Google Assistant sits in standby mode, waiting to be activated. In standby mode, the device processes short snippets of audio (a few seconds) to detect an activation – like when you say “Hey Google.” If no activation is detected, then those audio snippets won’t be sent or saved to Google.

What happens when I activate Google Assistant?

When an activation like “Hey Google” is detected, Google Assistant comes out of standby mode and your device records your audio to fulfill your request. The recording can include a few seconds before you activate your Assistant to catch your request at the right time.

You’re always in control of whether or not that audio is saved to your Google Account. By default, we don’t save your audio recordings. You can check your current setting by viewing the “Include voice and audio recordings” checkbox under the Web & App Activity setting.

How do I activate my Google Assistant?

You can activate your Assistant in a few ways. For example, you can say “Hey Google” or use a different activation method like squeezing your Pixel phone.

How do I know when Google Assistant is activated?

The status indicator on your device, such as the on-screen indicator or flashing LEDs on top of your device, lets you know when Google Assistant is activated.

Why does Google Assistant sometimes activate when I didn’t intend it to?

Occasionally, Google Assistant might activate when you didn’t intend it to, because it incorrectly detected that you wanted its help (for instance when there is a noise that sounds like “Hey Google”). We are constantly working to reduce unintended activations.

If that happens, you can say “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you,” and your Assistant will delete the last thing it sent to Google. And to better tailor Google Assistant to your environment, you can now adjust how sensitive your Assistant is to the activation phrase (like “Hey Google”) through the Google Home app for smart speakers and smart displays.

Designed for privacy

By default, we don’t retain your Google Assistant audio recordings. Visit “Your data in Google Assistant” to learn more about how your data makes Google Assistant work for you.

Does Google Assistant save my audio recordings?

By default, your audio recordings are not retained. You can choose to save your audio recordings by checking “Include audio recordings” under the Web & App Activity setting.

What’s the benefit of saving my audio recordings to my Google Account?

If you’d like to help make audio recognition even better across Google, you can choose to have your audio recordings securely retained and made available to our speech improvement systems. This helps products like Google Assistant improve their ability to understand language even better in the future. Learn more about this process here.

Is anyone other than me able to listen to my saved audio recordings?

If you decide to save your audio recordings, portions of them may be reviewed to help us improve our audio recognition technologies.

For example, short snippets can be used for Google’s audio review process. During this process, a small percentage of audio snippets are disassociated from their Google Accounts. Then trained reviewers can analyze the audio to annotate the recording and verify if the words said were accurately understood by Google’s audio recognition technologies. This helps a product like Google Assistant improve its ability to understand language even better in the future.

Can the government access my audio recordings?

Government agencies from around the world ask Google to disclose user information. We carefully review each request to make sure that it satisfies applicable laws. If a request asks for too much information, we try to narrow it, and in some cases we object to producing any information at all. In our Transparency Report, we share the number and types of requests that we receive. Learn more

Do you sell my audio recordings or other personal information?

Google never sells your audio recordings or other personal information.

Easy-to-use privacy controls

To control your Google Assistant activity using your voice, just say something like “Hey Google, delete what I said this week,” and Google Assistant will delete your Assistant activity.

Where can I find my privacy controls?

Just ask Google Assistant questions like “Where can I change my privacy settings?” to get answers to the most common privacy and security questions. Or you can always visit “Your data in Google Assistant” directly to access your privacy controls.

You mentioned I can delete my Assistant activity. How does that work?

You can delete recent Google Assistant activity using your voice by saying “Hey Google, delete what I said this week.” Or you can always visit “Your data in Google Assistant” to review or delete activity from your interactions with your Assistant. And visit your Assistant settings to access additional controls.

Can I set up my data to auto-delete?

Yes, you can have your activity data auto-delete from your Google Account. Choose a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved – 3 or 18 months – and any data older than that will be automatically deleted from your account on an ongoing basis.

How does Google Assistant use data to personalize my experience?

Data from your Google Account can personalize your Google Assistant experience and make your Assistant more useful to you.

There are certain questions that require your data for Google Assistant to help. For example, if you ask “When is my mom’s birthday?” your Assistant needs to reference your contacts to know who “mom” is and look up her birthday. Or if you ask “Do I need an umbrella tomorrow?” your Assistant uses your current location to give you the most relevant answer.

Google Assistant also uses data to provide you with proactive suggestions. For example, your Assistant can notify you when there is traffic on your regular routes by using your location.

Google Assistant can improve your results using activity in your Google Account. For example, if you ask “What should I make for dinner tonight?” your Assistant may use previous Search history to provide personalized recipe recommendations.

You can always visit “Your data in Google Assistant” to view or delete your data, check your current settings, and learn more about the controls available.

Visit Google’s Privacy Policy to learn more about how Google protects and uses your data.

Can I control if Google Assistant gives me personalized results?

Yes. Google Assistant makes it easy for multiple users to each have a personalized experience on a shared device. To receive personal results – like directions to work or personalized recipe recommendations – only when your Assistant recognizes your voice, set up Voice Match by following these steps. Family Link users can also get personal results from Google Assistant by following these steps.

On mobile and shared devices like speakers, you can control access to personal results by changing your settings. And on mobile, you can control how personal results appear on your lock screen.

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