Google's clever speakers record everything they hear (updated)

Google Home's smart speakers record user conversations, even if they didn’t contact a voice assistant. About this, citing sources, the publication informs VRT News. Before that, devices with a voice assistant, Alexa, were caught in eavesdropping. Amazon has confirmed that this is true.

An unnamed informant showed VRT News some audio recordings of personal conversations of Google Home users from the Netherlands and Belgium (VRT News – Belgian media). There were ordinary conversations and family quarrels on the records. Users did not contact the voice assistant, did not pronounce the phrase "Ok, Google!"

VRT News claims that the job of informing the publication was deciphering such records. According to the official version, it is necessary to improve speech recognition technology.

VRT News notes that in the Google Home documentation there is no direct mention of the permanent recording of everything that happens around.

Google representatives have not yet commented.

UPD: Later, Google issued an official statement, which acknowledged the leakage of records. In this case, the company claims that it is only about voice commands. Google doesn’t argue with the fact that the records go on decoding, but underlines that we are talking about a small percentage (0.2%). Decryptors do not need to know whose voices they hear.

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Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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