Is Your PC Listening To Everything You Say?

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Voice activated search imageOne of the features in certain versions of the Chrome web browser is voice-activated search. Just say "OK Google" and then you can dictate your search query. But the existence of such a feature poses a question. If the browser is to be able to recognise when you say "OK Google", presumably it's listening to everything you say. All the time.

If you use Chrome and you want to find out whether this is indeed the case on your computer, open your browser and type chrome://voicesearch/ in order to see the settings for that particular feature. If it says that audio capture is allowed, and that a microphone is detected, then there's a good chance that your PC is listening to you.

If this is the case, head to https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2940021?hl=en to find out how to turn it off.

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Comments

It's not like gnoogle would be getting a cherry. The NSA has had the capability to turn audio and video on remotely for a long time and regular scum sucking bottom feeders (mhacker's) have been able to get their germware to turn it on for more than a couple of years. It's about time gnoogle catches up with modern trends.

The Google link you provided says that the voice search only works on new tab/Google search pages when preceded by Ok Google. So what evidence do you have that the computer might be listening to everything said? Also is this information stored or transmitted to any site? If not, what does it matter?

Only a small percentage of computer users have a need for voice activated search which has always had problems because of difficulties interpreting regional accents that people have. In a strange way it is comforting to know our computer will listen to us when maybe our family or co-workers wont. I just don't want to see the day when my computer uses it's best Robert DeNiro impression to say "Are you talking to me?...are you talking to me..."

You may also check your smartphone.