Google Home Mini flaw left smart speaker recording everything

Google's Home Mini needed a software patch to stop some of them from recording everything

Google's Home Mini needed a software patch to stop some of them from recording everything

These faulty sensors can be found on the first units of the Google Home Mini, and these were the units that were handed over to the reviewers at Google's Pixel event October 4, 2017.

Google says pre-ordered Home Mini purchases are not affected and that it has completed the roll out of new firmware.

Google's response time for the issue was quite fast, working over a weekend to resolve the issue, so hopefully this will be the end of this.

A software bug in Google's Home Mini smart speaker left the device recording everything, nearly constantly, and transmitting those recordings to Google's servers.

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Home assistants all work in a similar way: you say a hotword - "Alexa" for Amazon Echo, "Hey Google" for Google Homes - and they switch on, ready to record your question/order, send it to the cloud, and then answer/execute your order.

While the Home Mini is typically activated by a user saying "OK, Google" or "Hey, Google", you can also activate the Mini press performing a long press on the device's panel. However, the incident should raise concerns for privacy-conscious users, and businesses that may be considering using these kinds of products. Google, on its part, acknowledged the bug responsively and issued a software update to address the issue. Google issued a software update to patch the problem. We immediately rolled out a software update on October 7 to mitigate the issue. I saw thousands of items, each with a Play button and a timestamp, all attributed to the cryptically named com.google.android.apps.chirp/mushroom/prod and Assistant. He says: "It was waking up thousands of times a day, recording, then sending those recordings to Google".

The Google Home Mini isn't out yet, but Google is already dealing with an issue related to it. He discovered that it was listening to everything and sending those recordings to Google's servers. However, there's also a touch-sensitive button on the top that can initiate a voice command, and this is apparently the problem. We've reached out to Google for more information on which devices are affected and how this whole thing went down and we'll be following this story as it develops.

It's not clear yet what Google's permanent fix for the long press bug will be. The bug won't impact the Google Home Max, as it isn't launching until December.

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