Monday, 23 October, 2017

Google Home Mini Starts Recording 24/7 by Itself

Image Credit Droid-Life Image Credit Droid-Life
Velma Reese | 13 October, 2017, 01:15

The Google Home Mini had originally been programmed to record you when you either said "Okay Google" or "Hey Google", or tapped and held a touch panel on it. This voice prompt is made possible by the Google Assistant. 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.

Luckily for Google, Android Police noticed the issue in one of its review Minis and wrote up a lengthy post about how the smart speaker was recording "24/7".

The touch panel has now been completely broken by the company, because it was causing the device to malfunction. "We have made the decision to permanently remove all top touch functionality on the Google Home Mini", Google said. But it turned out that some units had an issue: they would register touches even when no one was there, leading the units to start recording over and over and over again, which is pretty darn creepy.

Google was quick to respond to complaints and discovered that the physical button that can be used to invoke the Assistant was registering ghost touches, thus activating the feature.

Ohio boy missing from crime scene believed to be in danger
Authorities say three people have been fatally shot, a fourth person stabbed and an 7-year-old boy is missing in southeast Ohio. The sheriff says deputies spotted Lawson driving around 12:30 a.m., but he ran into woods after a short pursuit in Ironton.

Google reassures early users who were affected that it hasn't stored any information that may have been recorded by long pressing the top of the Google Home Mini between October 4 and October 7, when the software update was rolled out.

In the meantime, Google allows users to deactivate any existing Google devices from saving audio recordings via its settings page. But for people that don't own a Google Home Mini, or don't know about the product yet (it's only a week old, after all), that's where the real problems could come into play. The touch-sensitive sides for changing the volume of the Home Mini will remain active. It brings all of the regular Google Home features, including voice assistance, in a way smaller package and a more affordable price point. The rationale behind the move is Google giving people "complete peace of mind" when they use Google Home Mini, the company said. For now, the speaker can only be activated through voice command.

Google confirmed in a statement that it is permanently removing the top touch functionality of the Home Mini. Aside from an enormous pile of junk audio recordings, the audio recording issue of the Google Home Mini would raise privacy concerns, especially that the speaker itself can be viewed as a tool for illegal surveillance.

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