Whenever you use a Google product, such as your Android phone, an Assistant-enabled speaker, or even Chrome, your activity history is stored on the company’s servers, and available for you to review through the My Activity service. I personally check it out to understand why my so-called “smart” speaker gave me a meaningless answer by actually reviewing what it thought it heard. My Activity also saves what apps you’ve used on a given day or what places you’ve checked on Maps. Because all of this data is private and sensitive, Google just added an extra layer of security to make sure only you can access it.
According to Google, “if you turn on extra verification Google will make sure it’s really you before you can see or delete your full history on My Activity. This can help keep your history safer on shared devices. This setting only applies to My Activity. Your history may still appear in other Google products.”
Once turned on, the feature will ask you to verify your identity before showing your history. What this actually does is simply take you to the regular Google sign-in page, allowing you to either enter your password or connect using your Android device if you’ve set that up.
While this extra step can be useful on a shared computer or if you’ve left your device unlocked, it still uses your Google account sign-in without protecting your data with an additional password. If you’re uncomfortable with your detailed history being saved, keep in mind you can delete it and control what’s saved in your Activity Control settings.