Google Says A Bug In Their New Smart Speaker Eavesdrops And Sends Data Back To Them

Submitted by: fancylad 3 weeks ago in News & Politics Tech

The eavesdropping Google Home Mini

Welp, it didn't take a genius to figure out that these new-fangled speakers were going to bite their owners ass sooner or later, the question was: Which brand's speaker will fuck up first? Personally, I had my money on Amazon's Alexa.

From Business Insider: Google rushed out a fix to a glitch in its latest smart speaker last week that caused the device to surreptitiously record the conversations of its early testers without their knowledge or consent.

The bug affected a small number of the Google Home Mini devices that the company handed out to reporters at its press event last week, according to Google. The company rolled out a software update over the weekend to address the issue on those devices and is exploring a long-term fix. 
There are 18 comments:
Male 1,833
I don't and will never use these kind of devices, if I can help it. I'm way to paranoid to have them I don't have a web cam or  a mike hook up on my desk top. I just got my first high end phone a galaxy 8 and when its not in my pocket its in a drawer just in case. Any device that will respond to a verbal call can listen to any one, they by design are listening all the time. 
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Male 1,976
Is this really a surprise? Apple has already admitted that if you use the fingerprint scanner on their devices, they store your fingerprint on their servers. They have also admitted that if you have the "Hey, Siri!" feature enabled, they are recording and archiving everything the phone hears. Google admitted years ago that they store search patterns from their search engine, so is it any wonder that they are also recording you? I am very concerned, however, that they are trying to claim that this is a "bug". How would one "accidentally" write a piece of code that records audio, then sends it back to a central server? Come on, Google, you wrote the code for those devices to spy on people. Just admit that you got caught doing underhanded shit, and stop trying to pretend it was an "accident". 
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Male 21,133
whosaidwhat Everything is about collecting, then selling data these days. I know of a few tech companies that do just that -- they have an app which serves as a pretty useful tool, but what the user doesn't know is that the real way these start-ups make money is when they sell data like user habits, search words, demographics, and user stats to larger third-party corporations. I'm sure in the terms and conditions of every one of these apps, there's some sort of legal jargon that states they're going to sell your info to other companies. Of course, apps are one thing, having an Alexa in your home is a way bigger concern -- and just wait until hacker nerds figure out how to break into the Alexas of the world.
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Male 1,543
You hide, they seek.
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Male 531
You lost me at "They're"...
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Male 21,133
Shelworth Then get over it. I fixed it. 
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Male 357
People scream about the NSA collecting phone records then buy these and put them in thier homes. The NSA just needed a marketing department.
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Male 3,812
Nothing new...your phone listens to you all of the time, even when off.  Same for your laptop\tablet computer.  The only thing that can't is an old school desktop rig with the power supply switched to the off position...and no mic or webcam...
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Male 6,647
i do not use google services unless i absolutely have to.  And if i do, i make sure that they don't use my stuff.  Seriously who the heck thinks using google is a smart move these days?

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Male 685
A bug in they are new app.  Brilliant editing.
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Male 21,133
piratefish You're a peach.
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Male 8,792
Read an article where a coupe were suspicious that their Alexa/Google/whatever speaker was listening to them so they devised an experiment.  They started talking about their cat (they do not have a cat) and needing to buy cat food.

Wishing a few days, when browsing the Internet, they started getting ads for cat food.

Don't know how scientific it was, but definitely possible.
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Male 21,133
megrendel I read about that, or something similar -- a lot of people have been setting up their Alexa things to see if they can catch it picking up the key words they're talking about. And in every case I've read, the same thing happened that you mentioned. 
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Male 152
so how long until people realize that this shit is common practice?
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Male 433
"They're" == "They are"
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Male 21,133
7eggert Eh, it's gonna happen when you're a one-man show. I fixed it, thanks.
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Male 6,129
7eggert Your right.
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Male 598
broizfam I see what you did their.
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