Google secretly recording with your Android phone

Is Google spying you?

Everyone knows that Google is tracking us because we all read its Privacy policy from the time we buy Android devices or when installing Apps. But have you ever try to trace what information does it collect from you?

It’s not a surprise most Android users are not aware, how I wish every user come to know this.

Very little to no attention is given to agreeing on the terms and conditions of Google when opening Accounts. Smartphones and tablets have turned into spying devices, capturing voice, photos, and videos, sending them to Google sending all of this data to Google servers. But how does this whole freak happen In this guide we are going to outline how Google is secretly recording you through your phone, as well as how you can end all that drama by adjusting your settings.

For you to understand this better, let me first introduce you to My Activity Section found in Google. Access this section by typing, “history.Google.com/history” and head to Activity controls. You will be taken to a page with all your online footprint such as “YouTube searches, browsing history, voice recordings and all your recent visited places.”

 

Voice and Audio Activity

If you own an Android phone, the probability is very high that you once or you are using Google assistant (similar to Apple’s Siri) . Google claimed this function only records your voice when you say, OK Google.” But according to some investigations by The Sun, just saying, “OK” could result in your device recording your voice. Yes, this is absolutely true. Now just take a minute and figure out how many times you have uttered the word “OK” in the past 30days, it might not be surprising that you uttered that word countless times and you could you have been recorded unaware.

According to the investigation carried out by The Sun, the word “OK” could be enough instruction to your device to start recording your voice for about 20s after which your voice is sent to Google servers, where the voice files are then stored in the cloud. What this means anyone who knows your Gmail or Google Account login details can access all this data. This will mean that if your device is not well protected by passwords, all your private conversations could be messed up. After all, there are close people who can easily snick into your Google account and invade your privacy. It’s no doubt this could lend you in real danger. You can access your voice files by typing “history.google.com/history>>Activity Controls>>scroll down to voice and Audio Activity and you should notice all your recorded voice files if there was any recorded.

Web and App activity

This is a collection of your browsing history, both on google and different Apps on your phone. This is used by Google to send you loads of targeted Ads.if you browse about “women dresses”, you will start receiving tons of women dresses adverts on your android phone.

If you are using Google Chrome, you can avoid leaving your browsing history by using Incognito mode, this mode allows you to surf the internet without leaving any browsing history on Google chrome. To go incognito, launch chrome browser on your Android device, click on the three dots at the top right corner and start browsing. On your desktop or laptop you can alternatively press ctrl+shift+N.

Location History

Google business model is so simple, collect as much data as possible about its users and then use that data to sell targeted Ads. So another way in which Google does that by tracking all your movements, from your work workplace, restaurants and so on. By doing this, it knows you and your activities more than you are aware of.

Even if your Android phone doesn’t have a sim card and location services are turned off Google could still track you. Without any WiFi connection or mobile data. This tracking functionality cannot even be turned by factory resetting your Android phone. So in short, as long as you have an Android phone, Google has an eye on you.

However, google location services is a very useful tool in tracking a lost/stolen device. If your don’t mind being tracked by Google and you are more concerned about your phone, make sure you are signed in Gmail account and Google maps. This will help you in locating your device.

Another investigation into Google Apps and software also can show that Android device is capturing photos and videos of millions of users without them realizing. For instance, Google Plus and Play store have an option to record a video or capture a photo without your confirmation. Are you still unaware of this?

If you are holding your Android phone right now, go to settings; Application manager>>Google+ or Play services for instant services

Scroll down to the “take picture and video“, click that option and the below screen will pop up.

This should bring all the truth about your phone. This device is spying on us day in and day out. Who knows at what time the device will be capturing these photos or videos? Absolutely nobody knows.

Is it possible to switch these settings off?

Yes, to some extent it is possible. Click on Activity control, you will then notice a blue toggle.

Switch that button off to stop Google from tracking and recording all your data. However, this button can turn ON without your permission. So you will always need to check if the option is off and this is where the whole process becomes a daunting task.

Turn off OK Google on your mobile device

You can turn off OK Google in pretty simple steps. On your Android device;

  • open Google App
  • Go ahead, at the top right corner, find menu icon
  • Click on settings
  • Find the “Voice” option and tap on that.
  • Now to switch off the OK google option toggle on voice detection.

Now you have restored your privacy but you will need to check the setting regularly On automatically, without your knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He likes to play with the latest phones, gaming consoles, PCs, laptops and when he gets some spare time he likes to do VFX stuff. You can always find him playing with tools like Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc. His current gear is Galaxy Note 9+

15 Replies to “How google is secretly recording you through your mobile-Your privacy on the cards”

  1. What, what??  Oh my, I had to no idea!  It’s all very interesting, I’m not sure which options I will turn off or keep on.  I am tradiionally an iPhone user, but the last time I needed a phone I got an Android because my boyfriend likes them so much.  What I notice is that Androids are for people who like to have every option configurable on their phone, while I prefer the ease of use of an iPhone.   I’m sure many of these same settings are on the iPhone too, but maybe it would simpler to turn them off.  Have you ever done a comparison of an iPhone to an Android?

  2. A good and thorough research into the question of Google and privacy. As more and more devices are released so you will here more and more about these types of happenings.

    If you are worried about it I would suggest you don’t have a mobile phone or tablet or indeed any type of electronics in your home or about your person.

    Unfortunately we are living in a world where big brother took over years ago. I will keep my android phone on as I use hardly any of the apps.

    Thanks for the warnings.

    Derek

  3. You know, we live in an age where we just kind of accept that our privacy is going to be compromised.  Especially through social media and the use of the internet. But after reading your article, I came to the realization that enough is enough already.  

    How do we know that Google isn’t getting our credit card, social security numbers, and health records?  I don’t think they are going to use this against me, but what if they get hacked?

    I decided to follow your instructions and turn off all of that in my phone, thanks! I would have never figured it out myself.

  4. Thank you for this article.  Why would Google record irrelevant conversations though.   The Incognito mode just irritates me, I have to gmail accounts and while I log in Gmail for one the other I use Chrome to log in but the moment i used incognito mode my second account was removed and I struggled to sign in and even getting rid of Incognito mode was hell…no they can record whatever they want, aint using incognito mode again!

  5. Well, I am Android user and now I get worried. How they can “spy” us without permission? I know that nobody had a problem with that but still it is a little scary. They know what I am browsing, what I am buying and who knows what else. I think that I will transfer to the Iphone.

  6. Wow – that’s a bit of a worrying title for an article! 

    I know about certain aspects of Google’s motions but I had no idea they actually recorded a record of your voice – what would they need this for?

    Most of us use Google Chrome for our computers these days and all the apps are linked through this platform – makes you wonder what else they are up to?

    1. The main reason behind tracking Android users is to fire them with targeted Ads, they have to know what you spend most of your time doing, your favorite places, hobbies and the likes and then field your phone with Ads. 

  7. Hey there! This is very eye opening. I had no idea that Google tracked stuff like the pictures and videos that I took. I always assumed they were just interested in searches and search engine related stuff. But after reading this it seems like common sense that they’d be tracking other stuff because they’re so much more than a search engine. 

    Thanks for sharing and I appreciate you showing me how to protect myself by turning off the tracking and recording data switch,

    Marlinda

  8. Wow, I never knew this about Android phones. Makes me glad I use an IPhone, lol.
    It should be a crime that they can do this without your permission. I know they say it’s only to improve their services, but still, it shouldn’t be allowed.
    The conspiracy theorists must be going nuts about this, LOL.
    Cheers,
    Suzanne

    1. Glat it helped you realize, however, you need to e aware also with your iPhone because it’s fortunate though that Google usually makes it public of the info they collect from its users It’s only that the android users don’t read all terms and conditions when buying these devices but users do not usually go through terms, they just hit the Accept/Agree to, button . As in iPhone, Read more

  9. Hello Ngonidzashe, thanks for this vital information. I never knew about google spying on android users. I’m an iPhone user, but I will have to inform my mother on this since she is an android user. That is a crazy story, technology is crazy today!!!

  10. Thank you for such an enlightening article! I always knew google was spying on us. With the advent of the internet, our privacy has been invaded. It’s all good if you lead an honest life. LOL. Thanks for an informative article.

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