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Private “Guest Mode” Coming To Google Assistant

Google Assistant will soon feature an anonymous Guest mode, one of a number of privacy and security improvements on the way for Google products and services.

While Google allows users to delete Assistant queries after they are made, this currently needs to be done individually for each interaction. In a blog post, Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Vice President of Product and Privacy at Google, said that Guest mode – which will not save any interactions with Google Assistant while active – will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

“With an easy voice command, you can turn on Guest mode, and your Assistant interactions while in this mode won’t be saved to your account.

“You can turn off Guest mode at any time to get the full, personalised Google Assistant experience again,” he said.

Also on the way in a limited rollout, which will expand in early 2021, are newly-redesigned critical alerts for serious Google account security issues. In 2015, when Google first implemented Android alerts to notify users about Google account issues, engagement with alerts within an hour of receiving them increased twenty-fold over email; the new alerts build on this technology, says Roy-Chowdhury.

“When we detect a serious Google Account security issue, we’ll automatically display an alert within the Google app you’re using and help you address it—no need to check email or your phone’s alerts. The new alerts are resistant to spoofing, so you can always be sure they’re coming from us,” he said.

Google users will also be able to edit location history data within their accounts, and starting today, personal security and privacy settings will display when Google Assistant is asked if a user’s Google account is secure.

“Protecting your online safety requires constant vigilance and innovation. It starts with building the world’s most advanced security infrastructure and pairing it with responsible data practices and privacy tools that put you in control.

“We’ll continue to advocate for sensible data regulations around the world, including strong, comprehensive federal privacy legislation in the U.S., and make privacy and security advances that keep you safer online,” said Roy-Chowdhury.

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