Google Home Mini fault left smart speakers always recording

Isaac Cain
October 12, 2017

Apparently, the review unit handed over to Russakovskii was malfunctioning on the touch sensor level.

Speaking at the event Isabelle Olsson, a senior industrial designer for Google, said: 'It's small enough to be placed anywhere in the home. Google says that the privacy violation is down to a bug.

A hardware fault in a Google Home Mini review unit provided to Android Police continuously recorded all audio around it and sent it to Google's servers.

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.

After this, the idea of Google's AI going rogue starts taking concrete shape when it was known that Google got the unit collected from the user. "We rolled out an update on October 7 to mitigate the issue, before Google Home Mini shipped to anyone in the United Kingdom", a Google spokesperson told Mashable. As a result, Google has rolled out a software patch that deactivates the touch panel entirely.

Smart speakers like the Google Home Mini are created to only listen for a specific wake word - in this case it's "Hey Google" or "Ok Google". His report of the "near-constant" listening and recording prompted a quick response from Google.

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With Russakovskii's Mini it contemplated that somebody was holding its finger down on the top and so was unmethodically initiating and recording.

It looks like the problem has something to do with the touch panel on the device.

If you're unsure why a self-activating Home Mini meant Russakovskii's bathroom activity was recorded: everything you say to Google Assistant across the company's devices is recorded and stored in Google's servers, unless you explicitly disable it in My Activity controls.

The Verge also notes that company has set up a help page for the issue, which indicates that it is only the devices given out at certain Google events that may be affected.

Google's temporary fix is simple - deactivating the touch feature.

With security and privacy at the forefront of everyone's minds these days, especially with products that are capable of recording your conversation, this is obviously not the type of bug that Google wants right before a product launch.

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