Google Home just got a great update that improves your privacy

OK Google, make it easier to control what stuff gets shared

Google Home Mini
(Image credit: Google)

If you're worried about what your smart home might be sharing, the latest update to the Google Home app will help you sleep better at nights. Google appears to be updating everything right now, and as with other service updates this one is rolling out to users of the latest app version.

Here's what Google had to say about it. "Privacy settings is a new centralised place to help you learn about and manage your household activity data, as well as review and adjust your privacy controls."

You'll find the new feature in the General bit of your Google Home app's settings. if you don't see the update yet don't worry, because it's rolling out right now and for some it is still coming, most likely later this week.

Better home privacy protection

There are three key areas in the new Privacy section, which is headed Privacy Settings At Home, as well as links to change privacy settings on shared devices such as the best smart speakers or delete all your Google Assistant activity.

The first option is to removed saved Wi-Fi networks and your home address from the Google Home app, and the second enables you to see all your recorded Home activity and either delete it manually or set up an automatic deletion. The third option enables you to see what data is being recorded by Google Assistant and delete anything you don't want stored. If you have motion sensing devices such as the Nest thermostat, the section adds a fourth option called "Presence setting" so you can see how your device monitors your comings and goings.

It's good to see Google making it easier to access your personal data: the more we depend on devices such as the best smart lighting and the best smart home security devices as well as the obligatory smart speakers, the more data we're generating and the more data our smart home platforms are collecting. Managing your privacy across all of that is an increasingly difficult and time-consuming chore, so this update is definitely worth having.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).