Google Assistant gets an incognito-like guest mode
Google is launching a few new privacy features today that include a refreshed Safety Center that’s now live in the U.S. and coming soon globally, as well as more prominent alerts when the company expects that your account has been tampered with.
The most interesting new feature, however, is a new Guest mode for the Google Assistant on Google-branded devices. Not to be confused with giving guests access to your Google Chromecast, for example, this new Guest mode is more akin to the incognito mode in your browser. With Guest mode on, which you invoke by saying “Hey Google, turn on guest mode,” the Assistant won’t offer personalized responses and your interactions won’t be saved to your account. It’ll stay on until you turn it off.
Typically, the Google Assistant saves all of your interactions to your account. You can delete those manually or have Google automatically delete them after 3, 18 or 36 months. You can also prevent it from saving any audio recordings at all.
This new feature will roll out to smart speakers and displays in the coming weeks.
Talking about deleting your data, Google today also announced that you will soon be able to edit your Location History data in the Google Maps Timeline.
Also new: when you now search for “Is my Google Account secure” or use a similar query, Google will start displaying your security and privacy settings for you. That’s actually a useful step forward, given that we’ve reached a point where those settings are often hard to find.