Data security and privacy on devices that work with Assistant

This Help Centre article provides details on privacy and security for Google’s connected home devices and services working with the Google Assistant. To better understand how we collect and use data when you use our connected home devices and services, read the Frequently asked questions on privacy: Google Nest. Please also read Google’s commitment to privacy in the home.

Data collection

What information does Google collect when I interact with the Google Assistant?

Google’s Privacy Policy explains what information we collect; why we collect it; and how you can update, manage, export and delete your information, including when you interact with the Google Assistant. Learn more about Assistant and your privacy where we explain how your audio data is handled when you interact with the Assistant using a Google connected home device, as well as the controls available to you. You can review and update your Google Account settings at any time to choose what you share with your Assistant.

The Google Assistant is designed to wait in standby mode until it is activated, like when you say “Hey Google”. The Assistant starts in standby mode, waiting to be activated. In standby mode, it processes short snippets of audio (a few seconds) to detect an activation (such as “Ok Google”). If no activation is detected, those audio snippets won’t be sent or saved to Google. When an activation is detected, the Assistant comes out of standby mode to fulfil your request.

The status indicator on your device lets you know when the Assistant is activated. And when it’s in standby mode, the Assistant won’t send what you are saying to Google or anyone else. To help keep you in control, we're constantly working to make the Assistant better at reducing unintended activations.

Can Google Assistant get information from my other apps?    

Google uses information that you permit it to access, such as your device contacts or activity on Google sites and apps, to provide better, more helpful answers through the Google Assistant. Third-party services may also share information with Google pursuant to their own privacy policies when you choose to use those services via Google services, including the Google Assistant.

Can Google Assistant or Google Home app access my search history/location history?  
Yes. Activity controls in your Google Account let you decide what data is saved and used across Google services. For example, if you have enabled the Web & app activity setting, the Google Assistant and Home apps can use your search history to provide you with better, more helpful answers from the Google Assistant. The Google Home app asks you to provide your address during setup. If you choose not to do so, Google Home app will guess your approximate location based on your IP address and other signals, in order to set alarms for the right time zone and provide you with relevant weather and traffic information.
What does Google know about me when I use its home devices and services with the Google Assistant? 

If you have chosen to share information with Google then, subject to your settings, Google uses that information, along with your Google activity, to better assist you and personalise your experiences with Google services, including the Assistant. For example, if you ask, “When is my mum’s birthday?”, the Assistant answers your question using information from your Calendar. Or if you ask “Do I need an umbrella tomorrow?” the Assistant uses your current location to give you the most relevant answer.

You can delete your activity manually, set up automatic deletion or turn off Web & app activity entirely, which will limit the personalised experience in the Google Assistant and other Google services. You can view your activity with the Google Assistant by visiting your Assistant activity, which is accessible through the Google Home and Google Assistant apps and online at myactivity.google.com. You have control over your data and the ability to delete activity at any time. 

Please read the Google Privacy Policy, the Frequently asked questions on privacy: Google Nest, and our commitment to privacy in the home to understand what data Google collects, why we collect it, and the settings and tools available to you to update, manage, export and delete your information when you use our devices and services.

Can Google Assistant unintentionally collect my voice data?  What happens if it does and what are my choices?

Occasionally, the Assistant will activate when you didn’t intend it to, because it incorrectly detected that you wanted its help (like by a noise that sounds like “Hey Google”).

If that happens, just say “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you”, and the Assistant will delete the last thing it sent to Google. Learn about how to manage your voice and audio recordings.  

What are some types of activation methods?    

You can activate your Assistant in many ways. For example, you can say “Hey Google” or use a different activation method like a long-press on your Google Home device or squeezing your Pixel phone. The status indicator on your device, such as flashing dots, lets you know when the Assistant is activated.  

Data use

What does Google do with the data that it collects when I use the Assistant?
Google handles your data as described in the Google Privacy Policy. If you use our connected home devices and services, please also read Google’s commitment to privacy in the home and the Frequently asked questions on privacy: Google Nest, where we explain some limits that Google has placed on how your data is handled. Our privacy on Google Assistant video explains how your Assistant audio data is handled when you interact with the Google Assistant, and how the Google Assistant protects your privacy and gives you transparency, choice and control.

Data storage

Where are you saving my data?

Google stores data about your interactions with the Google Assistant on its servers, which reside in its data centres. For more information, you can visit https://www.google.com/about/datacenters/. You can view and delete your past interactions with the Google Assistant in My Activity. Learn about Google Assistant and your privacy.   

Some Google Nest devices and services, such as Google Nest Hub Max, store and process some of your data locally on your device and not on Google servers. To learn more, please read the FAQs on camera sensing and FAQs on Face Match.
Does the Google Assistant retain my audio recordings?    
By default, we don’t retain your audio recordings. You can decide to save your audio to make Google speech products more helpful to you and better for everyone. Visit your data in the Assistant to learn more about how your data makes the Assistant work for you.
Can I look at what I've asked my device with the Google Assistant /What Google Home has heard?
You can always visit your Assistant activity tool to review or delete data from your interactions with your Assistant. To control your Assistant activity using your voice, you can also just say something like, “Hey Google, delete what I said this week”, and the Google Assistant will delete your audio recordings. You can also choose to have your activity deleted automatically. Learn more about the Google Assistant and your privacy.

How do I change what Google knows about me?

You can limit the data that Google collects by reviewing and updating your Google Account settings at any time. You can also review and delete your voice interaction activity by visiting your Assistant Activity. Learn how the Google Assistant works with your data in Your data in the Assistant.

You can even control your privacy on the Assistant with just your voice. Ask questions like, “Where can I change my privacy settings?” to get answers to the most common privacy and security questions.

Data security

Is my data safe with Google?
Your security comes first in everything we do. Go to myaccount.google.com to understand how we keep your account protected and to complete a Security Check-Up.

Data deletion

What happens to my information if I uninstall the Google Home app/delete my account?

You can always choose to delete your Google home in the Home app, or your Google Account (account.google.com), but if you only uninstall your Google Home app, it will not delete your account or home information. Learn about how to delete and remove access to Google Nest devices

How do I delete my search/location/history and voice recordings? 

You can delete your activity in the Google Home app or at myactivity.google.com.

Google Assistant and my privacy

Is Google Home recording all of my conversations?

No. You can learn more about how the Google Assistant protects your privacy and gives you transparency, choice and control. 

Do my Assistant interactions influence the ads that I see on Google?

Depending on your settings, when you interact with your Assistant by voice, we may use the text of those interactions to inform your interests for ad personalisation. You can always review your Google settings to control the ads that you see, including opting out of ad personalisation completely. Learn more about the Google Assistant and the choices available to you.

Can the Assistant activate when I didn’t intend it to?

On rare occasions, the Google Assistant will activate when you didn’t intend it to because it incorrectly detected that you wanted its help. You can learn more by reading about how Google Assistant protects your privacy and gives you transparency, choice and control.

Who can hear my location/search/conversation history?

Anyone who is near your Google speaker or display device can request information from it, and if you have given  your device access to your calendars, Gmail or other personal information, people may be able to ask your device about that information, depending on your personal results settings and Voice Match settings. Google employees and trusted third parties can also access your conversation history in line with Google’s Privacy Policy. Learn about guests and your Google connected home devices.

Google Account and settings

How can I configure my Google Account settings when I use it to manage my home devices? 

You can use our connected home devices and service with a Google Account. Your Google Account gives you quick access to settings and tools that let you safeguard your data and protect your privacy. Go to your Google Account to manage your privacy settings and review your Google activity data. Additional home and device settings are also available to you in the Nest and Home apps. Learn about how to delete and remove access to Google Nest devices

How do I delete my Google Account?

 

Services 

Note: The services referred to below don't include music, home control, news and video services that work with your Google connected home device.

Does Google sell my information to anyone/my contacts/Google Partners/other apps/advertisers/other companies?
Never. We do not sell your personal information to anyone. There are some circumstances where we share information with third parties, which are listed in Google's privacy policy. For example, using a Google connected home device, if you request a service from a business like Uber, we will send information that you've provided to that service to complete a booking or confirm a lift. In these cases, we will have previously asked you to give us permission to share that information with that service.
Can services save my interaction history?

Please note that when you use third-party services with our connected home devices and services, their own terms and privacy policies will also govern your use of those services. Review those carefully as you use those other services. For example, to help you faster and more easily, a service might use information from past interactions with you.

In addition, a service that recommends concerts in your area can remember your music preferences if you share them with that service, so that you don’t have to tell them each time. Learn more about how to choose which services remember you.
Can a service get my Google Account information?

Before a service can see any of the information stored in your account (such as your email address, name or contacts), it’ll ask for your permission. We won’t share personal information such as your name, email or address with a service without your permission. Please note that when you use third-party services with our connected home devices and services, their own terms and privacy policies will also govern your use of those services, so please be careful about who you choose to share information with.

For example, if you’re using a service to find local plumbers, it may ask:

“In order to recommend a plumber nearby, I'll just need to get your street address from Google. Is that OK?”

You can accept or deny the request.

Does the third-party service provider get an audio recording of what I said?
We don't share Assistant queries with Works with Google Assistant partners. Google transcribes what you say and sends the text, but not the audio, to the third-party partner.
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