Syrup Drop: Tell Google to Stop Listening to You

Welcome to “Syrup Drop”. The first in a series of posts that will feature a quick and useful tech related tip that you may find helpful. I’m not going to stick to any sort of rigid schedule with these posts, but rather drop them in here and there as I come across a tip or trick I feel is worth sharing.

For the first drop I wanted to share something I learned recently that has become very helpful when interacting with my Google Assistant enable devices, specifically the Google Home speaker

Most of the time, you trigger your Google Home/Nest Home on purpose by using the wake up phrase “Hey Google” or “Okay Google”. However, many of us experience our Google Assistant mistaking another speaker or similar phrase as the command to start working for you. Sometimes you may not even realize Google was listening and recording until the Assistant replies with an answer of some sort.

Why does this happen? That is because smart speakers, your phone, or any other voice activated device is always listening. Listening, not recording, but listening. If it wasn’t in a semi always on state it would not respond to wake phrase. Don’t worry, it isn’t sending anything it heard to Google until you say the magic phrase. No need for techno-panic, please. This is also the case with Alexa, Siri and Cortana.

So, why am I telling you this, or whats the point of this first Syrup Drop?

Every time you speak to Google, it saves that recording to your account history. When your Assistant device springs to attention when you did not actually request it you can prompt Google to stop listening and delete this wake up occurrence from your account history by saying “That wasn’t for you”. The result; your Google Assistant will respond nicely with “I’m deleting what I heard.”

It’s that simple. If you don’t want Google to keep a record of you trash talking the neighbours, simply tell it.

Hopefully, this first drop was helpful! Let me know down below.


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