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Google Home Mini patch prevents accidental snooping on your conversations

Google has pushed out a patch to stop its latest smart speaker the Home Mini from recording everything its users are saying to it.

Discovered by user Artem Russakovskil and reported on Android Police, it appears that some Google Home Mini units have been recording 24/7, rather than simply replying to direct voice commands activated with the phrase ‘OK Google’.

Normally, when the Google Assistant – which gives the Home Mini its smart credentials – is activated, it records what’s being said and fires that data to a Google cloud server to process it. It then applies machine learning to make sense of what a user is asking the Home Mini to do.

It’s also possible to long-press the Home Mini to activate the Google Assistant manually, rather than using your voice. But it would appear that Russakovskil’s unit had a fault that meant the Home Mini thought it was being touch-activated all the time, which led to a continuous recording of data without Russakovskil’s knowledge.

While we may share a lot of our data with Google already, we do so with the knowledge that we’ve agreed to let the search giant hoover up information on our web searches. But this isn’t the case with the Home Mini, meaning its accidental data harvesting was a rather large breach of privacy.

Russakovskil quickly informed Google of his findings and the company pushed out a patch to fix the issue by removing the touch activation from the Home Mini. This will stop units affected by the problem from being accidental home snoopers.

So there’s a chance that Google may recall some of the affected Home Mini devices or push out further patches that enable touch activation but prevent the continuous recording of data.

Related: Google Home vs Amazon Echo

Do you have a Google Mini Home, and has it been snooping on you? If so, let us know on Facebook or tweet @TrustedReviews. 

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