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Innovation

Google records your voice searches. Here's how to listen back to them

Google's searches add an extra layer of creepy by letting you listen back to exactly what you said -- and how you said it.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on
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Go on. Ask Google something.
(Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive)

Imagine if Google wasn't just listening to your searches, but it was also recording and storing them. Well, it is, and yet, by letting you access and delete the data, it's a feat of extraordinary transparency on the company's part.

Users of Google's voice search and Google Now, the search giant's voice-activated assistant and search feature, have their searches stored to turn up relevant ads and improve the feature -- just as you would expect from using the regular search.

But what many don't realize is that after those voice searches are recorded and stored, users can listen back to exactly what they said and how they said it.

Even as a security reporter, I know these things and yet it still sends chills down my spine when I can hear myself drunkenly asking my phone six months ago, "Are you giving all my data to the government?"

(To which the answer is most likely: "not willingly.")

Not only should you not be surprised, this isn't exactly new. The Guardian was the most recent to point out this feature, following in the footsteps of sister-site CNET, which covered it earlier this year.

If you've used any opt-in voice search feature with Google, you can head to this link, which allows you to review your voice and audio activity.

As for deleting them? That's easy. Select one or more of the recordings from the check box, and hit "delete" at the top of your screen.

Post your best searches in the comments below -- that is, if you don't think you have anything to hide.

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