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SEOHost.Net Principal: Opting Out All Users From Voice Data Collection Is Right Move for Google

SEOHost executive comments on recent changes to Google privacy settings

Terry Cane, COO of SEOHost.net, a leading domain registration, SSL service, and SEO hosting provider, said that Google’s decision to opt users out of voice data collection is the correct one and that businesses can learn a great deal from it.

“Google often sets the standard for marketing, and this move is certainly no exception,” said Cane. “Now more than ever, privacy and ownership of personal data are front of mind. Consumers are growing more hesitant to freely share their information, and are increasingly demanding insight into how, where, and why their data is used.”

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Last year, voice recordings from Google’s Assistant, Maps, and Search applications were reviewed by human contractors. Some of these recordings were leaked. As a result, earlier this month, Google opted for all users out of automatic data collection for all voice activity.

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Concurrent with this opt-out, the company also issued a release explaining how it uses collected audio. According to the search engine organization, raw, anonymized voice data is used to train new artificial intelligence voice recognition models with the assistance of human reviewers. It also uses account-specific data to help improve its voice-match service but does not collect locally-recorded audio.

“This doesn’t just apply to marketing firms, however,” she continued. “Any business that collects customer data for any reason would do well to follow Google’s lead here. The more transparency you display and the more ownership you give to your audience, the more they’ll come to trust your brand.”

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Cane pointed to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation as a solid framework for businesses seeking a customer-focused data collection framework. Specifically, she pointed at the right to erasure, which holds that individuals can, at any time, request that their personal data be erased. She also noted the importance of allowing users to control the specifics of how their data is used.

“While many larger organizations have likely already implemented GDPR measures, small and mid-sized enterprises may not necessarily have engaged with it,” explained Cane. “Now is as good a time as any. While it’s true that full ownership and transparency may result in a lower volume of workable data, the loyalty this move will inspire is well worth the trade-off.”

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