Google Home Mini was eavesdropping on consumers

Google Home Mini was eavesdropping on consumers

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.

As many as 4,000 Google Home Minis handed out at Made By Google press and pop-up events could have a flaw making them capture virtually all audio around them before uploading the recordings to Google servers, Android Police reported on Tuesday. According to a report by The Verge, the company has already issued an update.

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Russakovskii swapped the device with Google, whose engineers determined that the device was registering "phantom" touches. The fault in the Mini, which affected an unspecified "small number" of the devices, meant the speaker would listen to every sound, regardless of the wake phrase. For example, in the United States, Google Home Mini costs $49 and ships by October 18. It assumed that the user is holding the top of the device to ask a question, and hence it randomly activate and recorded everything going around. Google has made alterations to the software so that the touch panel won't activate the Assistant functions.

"We take user privacy very seriously", it added. It will only respond to the trigger words now. One particular product, the Google Home Mini, has been incidentally recording at random occasions due to an incorrectly calibrated touch sensor that sits atop the device. We are rolling out a software update today that should address the issue. "If you're still having issues, please feel free to contact Google Support at 1-855-971-9121 to get a replacement Google Home Mini". A vulnerability like this reflects poorly on Google's hardware though.

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The issue prevailed over the few initial units of Google Home Mini, including the ones that were distributed as review units.

While we may share a lot of our data with Google already, we do so with the knowledge that we've agreed to let the search giant hoover up information on our web searches. So far so good, except - as he only discovered days later - the Mini was recording "thousands of times a day" and sending those recordings to Google.

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