Google may have just avoided a huge scandal. And for good reason, the brand new connected speaker Google Home Mini was the victim of a disturbing bug, to say the least. Because of this, the new product of the Mountain View firm recorded and sent to Google servers almost everything the speaker heard, without the consent of its owner.
The flaw was discovered by Artem Russakovskii, journalist and founder of the Android Police site. While testing Google’s smart speaker, he noticed that it blinked a little too often for his liking. A quick tour of his personal space, where the Google Home Mini recordings are referenced, was enough for the journalist to understand that there is a big problem. Artem Russakovskii has indeed discovered that the connected speaker had recorded thousands of audio files from morning to night, without his consent. However, in normal times, the voice command is triggered only when its owner calls out to it by saying “OK Google” or by pressing a button at the top of the device.
The button disabled as a precaution
Faced with this funny situation, the founder of Android Police quickly alerted Google. According to the American giant, it is the button at the top of the speaker that is in question. It was activated randomly and therefore regularly recorded what the journalist could say. To prevent such an experience from happening again, the Alphabet subsidiary decided to “permanently remove»The touch option on its Google Home Mini speakers. An update was automatically distributed to disable the button on circulating devices.
For Google, the effects of this quack will be limited insofar as the speaker is not yet marketed. Only a few people, mainly journalists, have been able to test it so far. The Google Home Mini will be available from October 17th.