Here's how to listen to all the recordings that Google has secretly made of you

Here's how to listen to all the recordings that Google has secretly made of you

Some of the inventions we have these days would have George Orwell spinning in his grave. Just think about it: all our laptops and mobile devices have built-in microphones, our Sat Navs and fitness trackers and pedometers can give pretty much anyone information on where we are at any given time, and we hardly need our homes to be fitted with cameras to monitor us because we do it ourselves by uploading selfies every five minutes.

I don't mean to sound like some whacky conspiracy theorist here, but, come on guys - if someone really wanted to spy on us, they wouldn't have to try all that hard to do. After all, how many times have you said, "Hey Siri", and not given a second thought to who might be listening through the phone? Or asked Alexa to add something to your shopping list without suspecting that it might be storing all your daily habits in some secret file somewhere?

More to the point - were you even aware that Google actually keeps your audio every time you ask one of its friendly interfaces a question?

google search on phone and laptop Credit: Getty

Yes, every time you ask trusty old Google who sang that one Christmas jingle you like, or whether or not Lapland is actually a real place (it is, by the way), the powers that be are storing away your aimless curiosities for no apparent reason.

Fortunately, there is a way you can salvage your late night wonderings about possible ways to prevent a hangover, or how many calories are in eight pints of beer. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

1. Go to your Google history

2. Click the hamburger icon at the top of the page

3. Go to 'Voice and Audio Activity'

4. Check through the list and see if there's any embarrassing evidence you want to delete

5. Click on one of the squares to get rid of your chosen selection

Oh, and if it wasn't already weird enough that Google is keeping tabs on how many times you're blatantly using its functions to cheat in a pub quiz, the internet giant also has a record of where you've been.

If you go on to Google maps, you can find a feature called 'Timeline', which is apparently only visible to you (and anyone who has access to your computer, obviously). It keeps track of everywhere you've been while your location services are on and allows you to look back on where you were at a particular time.

I mean, I can think of at least half a dozen ways in which this type of application could be abused in the wrong hands, but hey, Google seems to think it's a helpful feature.

So, now you know the secrets to covering up your own incriminating evidence - and snooping through anyone else's, should you get the chance (not that I'm condoning it). It should also be said that, even though these services are obviously very safe and secure, it's important to be aware of what sorts of data people have on you - because you never know how it may be used against you in the future.