Google rushes fix after new Home Mini speaker gets caught spying

Google rushes fix after new Home Mini speaker gets caught spying

Google rushes fix after new Home Mini speaker gets caught spying

The Home Mini is set to launch on October 19 and ahead of that official launch, as Google and other manufacturers normally do, the device was placed in the hands of reviewers around the globe.

Google's launch event last week created quite the buzz and one of the new products that people are excited to try include the Google Home Mini.

The bug was discovered by Artem Russakovski from Android Police, who noted that his Google Home Mini review unit was responding to his TV without activating his Home Mini. This could only mean one thing: the Home Mini was turning on by itself, recording everything it heard in Russakovskii's home, and transmitting it to Google's servers.

As an added precaution, all activity and queries created by long-pressing the touch sensor on Home Mini speakers between October 4-7 have been wiped and will no longer show up on owner's My Activity Page.

EPIC has pending complaints with the FTC and DOJ alleging that always-on devices like Google Home, Echo and Siri violate consumer protection law and federal wiretap law.

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. The software update has now apparently stopped the touch panel from working.

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It's great to see Google hurry to fix the issue, but this is still a PR nightmare.

One of those reviewers is reporting that the Home Mini he was writing about was nearly constantly recording sounds in his home.

To its credit, Google fixed the issue in just four days by disabling the touch panel altogether.

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

On Friday afternoon, he went on to contact Google about the matter, and much to his surprise, not only did Google answer the email, but they also sent a team over to pick up the device and examine it.

As a result, virtually everything happening near the Home Mini was recorded. The devices basically act as if someone is long-pressing the button to activate Assistant all the time, so they are recording nearly constantly. Pretty scary stuff, though it was clearly unintentional, defective behavior, which led to the swift deactivation of the touch control mechanism.

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