Google Home Mini Caught Recording Users Without Consent

Google pushed out a bug fix to stop preview units from recording users.

Google had to push out an update to fix a glitch in it’s new Google Home Mini. The bug affected some preview units of the device that was handed out to the press. Unfortunately, this bug was causing the units to record users when it wasn’t supposed to be.

Like Amazon’s Alexa, there are two ways to activate Google Home units. By speaking “OK Google” or if you’re among the more paranoid and don’t want the device listening for it’s wake words, you can opt to push a button whenever you wish to give a command. That button on the Google Home Mini was problematic for at least one person out there.

That person was a blogger from Android Police, who discovered that his unit was turning on, recording, and sending each recording to Google’s servers. He sent the information to Google, and Google responded exceptionally quickly. So quickly in fact that they sent someone to pick up his unit that Friday night. By Monday, they were rolling out an update to fix the issue.

What was the issue? The button was picking up phantom touches, and the update has disabled that button while Google works on a more long term fix.

This is not good for Google. The fear many people have of personal assistants are that they will be listening in when they shouldn’t be. Additionally, we’re all more than a little concerned with the information Google collects on us. I’m sure it won’t take long for people to assume this glitch was more of a purposeful function.

In this case though, the information that was being recorded was in no way being hidden. It was readily available on the Google account. This, coupled with the speed that Google responded to the issue, is very promising.

Brad

BlackBerry Elite Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs and UTB Geek. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.

  • AnDrewiD

    Sure, “bug”. ;)
    Probably the fix is that those non “OK Google” recordings won’t get sent to the user’s account, they will just go directly to Google/NSA. :)

Top