Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
IT | By Lester Massey

Google updates its home Mini speaker - Stops it from recording everything accidentally

Google updates its home Mini speaker - Stops it from recording everything accidentally

The Google Home Mini also features a button which can be held so users can ask the digital assistants a question.

Android Police's Artem Russakovskii was reviewing the Google Home Mini. According to a report by The Verge, the company has already issued an update.

Actually, there is a soft touch portion on the device that, when pressed, records what the user is saying. The fault in the Mini, which affected an unspecified "small number" of the devices, meant the speaker would listen to every sound, regardless of the wake phrase. After these commands, the microphone on the device records what comes after and then transmits the information to the cloud for answering your queries.

The number of devices believed to be affected by the bug is quite low - being limited to devices given out at a "Made by Google" event in the United States, the company informed Sky News, however it may still cause concern for British consumers. The device thought that someone was holding down the top part indefinitely, so it was active all the while and recording everything!

Introduced just last week, the Google Home Mini is available to preorder at the moment, and it won't ship sooner than October 19th. One particular product, the Google Home Mini, has been incidentally recording at random occasions due to an incorrectly calibrated touch sensor that sits atop the device. Still, it may take quite a bit of time for Google to get folks concerned with their privacy to trust the Mountain View-based search giant again. "We immediately rolled out a software update on October 7 to mitigate the issue".

So now, users have to say the wake word to activate the smart speaker; a simple touch will no longer activate it. Google has achieved this by adjusting the device's software. A vulnerability like this reflects poorly on Google's hardware though. Anyway, Google updated all Home Mini units to disable the touchpad on top of the unit to prevent the assistant from accidentally waking up and recording everything. And issues like these trigger the notion further. The good news is, Google isn't being purposefully evil.

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