Google Home Mini fault left smart speakers always recording

Google Home Mini fault left smart speakers always recording

After all, this is a company which has had to deal with a variety of privacy-infringing scandals in the past, and a company that makes money off your data.

Google has fixed a problem with its new Home Mini which made the device record almost every sound it detected and sent it to Google's servers.

When the new Google Home Mini was announced recently, Google gave the device out to a number of people to test out. But reviewers already have access to the speaker, which is how this serious bug was discovered. Two days later on October 6th, he noticed that the Mini was activating repeatedly while he was trying to watch TV. Both the Home and Home Mini respond to long touch gestures that trigger the device to listen and record audio to answer the command.

A bug effectively turned the Google Home Mini into a spying device.

I opened it up, and my jaw dropped. Here's Google's statement to Android Police. Upon further investigation of his Google account's My Activity portal, Russakovskii realised the device had transmitted thousands of audio recordings to the company without his knowledge, all of which were available for playback. You can say the words "OK Google", followed by a command such as "play 'Bohemian Rhapsody.'" Alternatively, you can press the button located on the top of the devices instead of saying "OK Google". Apparently, some Home Mini devices register phantom touches, which leads to the speaker recording every sound around it. That's a pretty severe privacy violation, but Google says it's pushing out an update to prevent it from happening again.

The video below shows the faulty Google Home Mini in action and offers you an idea of how you can easily see if the speaker is recording everything: The lights turn on to tell you the speaker is active. The company rolled out a software update over the weekend to address the issue on those devices and is exploring a long-term fix. Smart speakers like the Mini rely on customers' trust; it's an act of faith for consumers to let Amazon or Google place a microphone in their houses. Not only because the speaker recorded everything it could hear, but also because this incident indicates that Google's hardware isn't ideal, no matter what the company told us during last week's press event.

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

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