Google Home Mini Caught Recording Audio Due to Hardware Issue
Google Home Mini Caught Recording Audio Due to Hardware Issue
Google updates Home Mini to address major privacy bug
12 October, 2017, 00:58
Google's online account security and privacy tools include an activity timeline that can be filtered to specific products and services, and Android Police confirmed that the Home Mini was indeed uploading thousands of audio snippets to Google's servers as if they were user commands.
Smart speakers have a bad rap among privacy hounds, with many fearing that these sentient devices are spying on us and sending that sensitive data to corporations like Amazon and Google.
Under normal circumstances, you can long press the touch control to speak a command. It concluded that there was an issue with the touch control mechanism, and very quickly issued a software update to fix the problem.
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Google identified the problem and revealed that there was a problem with the touch panel at the top which can be used to activate the Assistant by long-pressing it.
Google has been forced to redress its upcoming Home Mini devices, after a pre-release unit broke its bounds and started recording what was happening in a bathroom 24-hours a day. "If you're still having issues, please feel free to contact Google Support at 1-855-971-9121 to get a replacement Google HomeMini". He discovered that it was listening to everything and sending those recordings to Google's servers. In Google Home Mini's case, users can hold their finger down at the top to access Google Assistant.
As explained by Google, the issue affected devices that were given out at the U.S. Made by Googlelaunch event.
As of now, Google brushed the issue aside by rolling out a patch and terming the issue as a hardware issue. I saw thousands of items, each with a Play button and a timestamp, all attributed to the cryptically named com.google.android.apps.chirp/mushroom/prod and Assistant. The software fix prevents the activation of the speaker with a touch, which was a feature meant to offer options for activation. According to Artem Russakovskii from AndroidPolice, who attended this event, it appears that his device had been silently sitting there and transmitting what it recorded back to Google for about a week before he noticed. The bug won't impact the Google Home Max, as it isn't launching until December.
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