Google Home Mini recorded audio all the time

Google Home Mini recorded audio all the time

Since the company is releasing the speaker in a few days, it took Google less than three hours to scoop up the rogue speaker from his home.

That's because some sort of a touch control mechanism flaw made the Google Home Mini device in the possession of Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii record every nearby sound without its owner's approval.

Google was quick to respond to the issue and has already dispatched a software update for the Home Mini to fix the bug as well as documentation to reflect the change.

People can also long-press the Home Mini to activate the Google Assistant manually rather than just by voice. "We immediately rolled out a software update on October 7 to mitigate the issue".

Google identified the problem and revealed that there was a problem with the touch panel at the top which can be used to activate the Assistant by long-pressing it.

To Google's credit, it seems to have scrambled the engineering jets to figure out the issue and create a fix. But it would appear that with Russakovskil's unit had a fault that meant the Home Mini thought it was being touch-activated all the time, which led to its constant recording of data without Russakovskil's knowledge. Luckily, Google Home Mini owners can check the activity of their speaker on Google's My Activity portal, which in this case revealed flawed unit sent thousands of items (each with a Play button and a timestamp) on the web.

While this in itself is a fairly minor inconvenience, it has major implications for the privacy of users and could, in theory, let Google monitor everything that is said in your home.

One of those reviewers is reporting that the Home Mini he was writing about was nearly constantly recording sounds in his home. The Home Mini costs a mere $50, though, and includes nearly all the features of the larger Home.

Do you have a Google Home Mini?

Google has now also posted a help article about the issue, claiming that early review units are the only affected ones, assuring customers that preordered units at retail won't encounter a similar problem. Google may be able to bring this feature back in the future if it figures out how to identify defective units.

The issue prevailed over the few initial units of Google Home Mini, including the ones that were distributed as review units.

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