Science

Google patches Home Mini to end inadvertant snooping

Google patches Home Mini to end inadvertant snooping

After a few reports spoke of the issue, Google permanently removed all top touch functions on the Mini.

Artem Russakovskii of Android Police reported that the Google Home Mini he was reviewing was randomly and nearly constantly recording sounds in his home and transmitting them to Google. "The update will be completely rolled out by end of day October 15, 2017", Google's statement reads.

After a short privacy scare over the weekend that involved Google Home Mini and its top touch area functioning improperly, Google has gone ahead and permanently killed the feature. For what it's worth, Google Home users can always go into the Google Home app and see every single time one of their Home devices is activated and even see what the Home heard - this is, after all, how this initial Home Mini issue was discovered in the first place.

It's not clear whether Google made a decision to cut the feature because it couldn't find a way to fix it or simply because it didn't want the issue to run and run, and become a PR nightmare. As before, the best way to control and activate Google Home Mini is through voice, by saying "Ok Google" or "Hey Google", which is already how most people engage with our Google Home products.

Google takes product quality and privacy concerns very seriously.

Arsene Wenger admits Gunners ARE considering selling Mesut Ozil in January
Ozil's agent Erkut Sogut said talks with Arsenal were "going in a positive way" this week, and Wenger affirmed that view. It's expected Sanchez will leave Arsenal at the end of the season, which will lead to a scramble to sign the forward.

Artem Russakovskii discovered the Home Mini was "inadvertently spying on me 24/7 due to a hardware flaw". "Say "Ok Google" or 'Hey Google ' to control music, alarms and timers", added Google. Furthermore, the device failed to notify users when it was randomly listening in on them. The Home Mini volume can still be adjusted using the touch control.

Russakovskii swapped the device with Google, whose engineers determined that the device was registering "phantom" touches.

The Google Home Mini bug was active from October 4-7. Doing so will, however, affect the accuracy of the device's voice recognition.

Preventing "long-press to talk" on all Mini devices is a short-term solution, but it seems to have come swiftly from Google.

According to Tech Crunch, those who received the Home Mini at the recent Made By Google events, were the ones affected by the bug. The fix, though, means a feature from the Mini would no longer be available.


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