Google Home Mini found eavesdropping on people, company rolls out software patch to fix it

By Shubham Sharma | Published on 11 Oct 2017
Google Home Mini found eavesdropping on people, company rolls out software patch to fix it
HIGHLIGHTS

A review unit of the Google Home Mini started recording everything in its vicinity without any permissions. Google has acknowledged the issue and released a software patch to fix it

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Google launched the it's AI enabled IoT speaker, the Home Mini at it's Made by Google event on October 4. The smart speaker listens for voice commands starting with “Ok Google or Hey Google”. It can then be instructed to read the news, set reminders, play music and much more. However, things become scary when you realise that the speaker listening for your commands is eavesdropping on everything you say without your knowledge or permission.

Artem Russakovskii from Android Police has reported that the Google Home Mini unit he was reviewing, inadvertently started recording every sound going around his house and sending it back to Google. The Home Mini can also be activated by a touch sensor on the top and due to some issue with it, the speaker randomly started activating and recording sounds.

Russakovskii contacted Google and they said, “We have learned of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Minis that could cause the touch mechanism to behave incorrectly. We are rolling out a software update today that should address the issue. If you're having any additional issues, please feel free to contact Google Support at 1-855-971-9121.”

The Google Home Mini Russakovskii received seems to be one out of “a small number” of devices that are affected by the issue and Google swiftly released a software patch on September 7 to fix it as well. The company assures that only some of the devices given out during the event were affected, while the pre-ordered Home Mini devices are safe to use. 

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Shubham Sharma

Interested in tech, gaming, cyber-security, anime, and more

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