Google Home Mini fault left smart speakers always recording

12 October, 2017, 00:58 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Google Home Mini fault left smart speakers always recording

On paper, the donut-sized Google Home Mini and premium Apple HomePod-rivaling Google Home Max look pretty sweet, with early reviews consolidating at least the former's position as a very strong Echo Dot contender.

No paying customers have been affected by the bug, since the Google Home Mini doesn't officially launch until next week. For several days, for thousands of times a day, it would wake up unsolicited, quietly recording sounds from his home and transmit them to Google's servers.

It's not uncommon for companies like Google and Amazon to keep the audio smart speakers hear. Over at Android Police, Artem Russakovskii noticed something amiss about the Google Home Mini he was reviewing.

Before you freak out, you should know that smart speakers have to send your voice queries to cloud servers to return responses.

Russakovskii then proceeded to check in on Google's My Activity portal which has a dedicated section for the Assistant.

Nike creates Swamp green sneakers with chrome orange plates for Florida
And, of course, what custom uniform is complete without special shoes? Matching sideline apparel from Nike is also available. The Gators will wear an alternative "swamp green" uniform created to look like the scaly skin of an alligator.


A bug effectively turned the Google Home Mini into a spying device.

Stunned by the discovery, Russakovskii wanted to figure out if there was any warning this was happening.

This could have been a PR nightmare for Google, but as per Russakovskiis account, the company was committed and transparent throughout the whole process.

"The Google Home team is aware of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Mini devices that could cause the touch control mechanism to behave incorrectly". We are rolling out a software update today that should address the issue.

What does that mean? In the Home Mini case, it was a long press on the touch panel, which allowed you to ask the assistant a question without saying the hotword. Then, like a twist in an episode of Black Mirror, Russakovskii discovered on his Google activity history that the Mini had been recording thousands of times per day without any direction or audible announcement. The malfunction is thought to have affected around 4,000 units. After swapping the device with Google, Google engineers determined that Russakovskii's Home Mini had a defective touch panel that was registering "phantom" touch events. However, the incident should raise concerns for privacy-conscious users, and businesses that may be considering using these kinds of products.

Recommended:

  • Spain gives Catalan leader 5 days to clarify independence

    Spain gives Catalan leader 5 days to clarify independence

    The crisis has caused deep uncertainty for businesses in one of the wealthiest regions in the eurozone's fourth-largest economy. On Wednesday, a government source who refused to be named said "all options" were on the table as crisis talks were under way.
    SNES Classic sells 368000 in four days in Japan

    SNES Classic sells 368000 in four days in Japan

    There were 1,049 games released for the handheld, so Nintendo shouldn't have any trouble choosing a couple of dozen. The Game Boy was small enough as it was, thank you.
    Armenia to compete in League D for first-ever UEFA Nations League

    Armenia to compete in League D for first-ever UEFA Nations League

    Organisers will use the UEFA ranking system to determine the make-up of four leagues (A , B, C and D) from the 55 teams involved. When it was unveiled in January the new Uefa Nations League was touted as the answer to "rejuvenate national team football".
  • Wind Farms In The North Atlantic Could Power Up The World?

    Wind Farms In The North Atlantic Could Power Up The World?

    Using modeling tools, the team compared the productivity of large Kansas wind farms to theoretical massive open-ocean wind farms.
    Planning Two Ways Out

    Planning Two Ways Out

    Topics range from "stay low and go", don't back into the house or building to retrieve anything, and smoke detectors. October 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week .
    Thailand elections confirmed for 2018

    Thailand elections confirmed for 2018

    He warned political parties against campaigning and said any breaches could result in the ban on political activities being prolonged.
  • Trump Nominates Kirstjen Nielsen As Next Homeland Security Secretary

    Trump Nominates Kirstjen Nielsen As Next Homeland Security Secretary

    The White House says President Donald Trump will nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to serve as his next secretary of Homeland Security. The White House confirmed earlier reports by The Washington Post and Politico that Nielsen was next in line for the position.

    Korean lawmaker says N. Korea hacked war plans

    Hackers linked to North Korea reportedly targeted USA electric power companies, according to a leading cybersecurity firm. The South's Yonhap news agency quoted Lee as saying that 235 gigabytes of military documents were taken.
    New Waterproof Kindle Oasis Can Be Underwater For an Hour

    New Waterproof Kindle Oasis Can Be Underwater For an Hour

    That battery is good for 6-weeks of reading and there's now 12 LED illuminators down the side to front light that E Ink panel. The backlight is uniform across the display, and now features automatic brightness so it can react to environmental lighting.
  • Time US taught 'new' lessons: Iran Armed Forces

    Time US taught 'new' lessons: Iran Armed Forces

    Iran's rial has dropped against the USA dollar in recent days in a sign of concern about Trump's policy. In July 2017, the United Stated imposed new sanctions against the country's ballistic missile program.
    Airtel Partners with Karbonn and launches 4G VoLTE smartphone

    Airtel Partners with Karbonn and launches 4G VoLTE smartphone

    All smartphones under the " Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone " initiative will be available at leading mobile stores across the country. Airtel will provide total cash benefit to Rs1,500-Rs500 will be given after 18 months and another Rs1,000 after 36 months.
    Disney withdraws 'Jack and the Beanstalk' project

    Disney withdraws 'Jack and the Beanstalk' project

    Enormous was originally scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 21, 2018 and was subsequently pushed back to the 2020 slot. With 'Gigantic , ' we've come to that point, and although it's a hard decision, we are ending active development for now.


Popular

Josh Gordon Says Baylor Football Coach Helped Him Cheat Drug Test
I had the desire to get help, invest myself 100% into whatever was going to help save my life. Gordon went into detail about his time at Baylor and says a coach helped him beat drug tests.

Eminem Rips Into Donald Trump With Scathing Freestyle Rap
The video, which played during Tuesday night's BET Hip Hop Awards , had more than 4 million views on YouTube Wednesday morning. The 44-year-old rapper has previously taken a swipe at Trump in 2016, in nine-minute freestyle titled 'Campaign Speech' .

Giants suspend Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie; Did he have 'altercation' with Ben McAdoo?
Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was missing from practice on Wednesday, but it wasn't because of an injury. If the Giants cut him, he would carry $2 million in dead cap space for 2018, a savings of $6.5 million.

The iPhone X's notch already works
But once the iPhone X manufacturing issues are resolved, the phone's sales will likely to pick up in the first half of 2018. He stated in a note to MacRumors that the 2018 iPad Pro will probably come with a TrueDepth camera and the FaceID feature.

Engineers turn Nissan into 190mph radio controlled vehicle and race around Silverstone
Nismo racing driver and Gran Turismo gamer Jann Mardenborough was then given the controller and told to lap Silverstone. In 2011 he was the victor of the GT Academy, Nissan's driver discovery and development programme.

OPEC Chief Urges US Shale To Curb Oil Output
Let's take a closer look at five oil-related stocks that you may want to consider ahead of next month's OPEC meeting. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested the cut might be extended further, to the end of 2018.

Trump wanted tenfold increase in nuclear weapons, says network
As a businessman and candidate, Trump frequently threatened to sue news organizations over unflattering coverage. We've all grown quite accustomed to Trump's posturing, but that doesn't make his antics any easier to defend.

Cook County board votes 15-1 to repeal sugary drink tax
Just over two months since it was implemented , Cook County commissioners have soured on a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks. David Goldenberg, a spokesman for the industry-funded Can the Tax Coalition said that Consumer indignation is off the charts.

US Army chief: 'No risk-free options' on North Korea
More than 1.1 million people serve in North Korea's armed forces, representing approximately 5 percent of its total population. Army's annual meeting in Washington, Mattis warned that he could not say what the future holds for the DPRK.

After Gujarat, Maharashtra also slashes Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel
Hours after the Gujarat government announced the tax cut, Devendra Fadnavis government also came out with tax reduction on fuel. Mr Rupani said Gujarat has become the first state to respond to the Centre's appeal to cut taxes on petrol and diesel.