Google Home Mini Caught Spying on Users

Google's Home Mini needed a software patch to stop some of them from recording everything

If you're still having issues, Google says to contact Google Home Support at 1-855-971-9121 to get a replacement Google Home Mini. The Home Mini units gave no indication they were recording beyond silently flashing their four display lights - a notification that you'd only notice if you were looking directly at the device.

The Google Home Mini saved recordings at times when the wake word "OK Google" wasn't used. It would even become alert when the TV was switched on, trying to respond to what was being said.

In the "Assistant" section of his Google "My Activity" portal were thousands of audio files.

As a result, virtually everything happening near the Home Mini was recorded.

Because the Google Home Mini ($49) doesn't officially launch until next week, no paying customers have been impacted.

Here's the statement Google issued:"We learned of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Mini devices that could cause the touch mechanism to behave incorrectly".

Google Home Mini, the puck-like smart home device from the Alphabet-owned company, has a big problem. Good news is that Google was partially able to fix the issue before it panned.

Still, it would be best to be cautious and make sure your Home Mini isn't keeping track of everything you say 24/7. Google has made alterations to the software so that the touch panel won't activate the Assistant functions.

Now, it's important to note that Google has since become aware of the issue and released a patch to fix it.

Intelligent assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant could be the next great frontier in computer interface, but there are bound to be some bumps along the way before we reach a Star Trek-style future. 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.

Google responded to the "phantom" touch issue quickly, totally removing "long-press to talk" functionality from all active Home Mini devices.

Russakovskii discovered and reported the issue to Google two days later, allowing Google to inspect the device and issue a firmware update that disabled the component that caused its hyperactive recording before it reached pre-order customers.

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