Google Assistant Records Audio Even When You’re Not Using It, Company Reportedly Admits
Teejay Boris, Tech Times 01 July 2021, 06:07 am
Google Assistant records your conversations even when not in use, the company reportedly admitted to an Indian government panel.
So, it turns out that even without saying the word “OK Google,” the AI Assistant still listens to your conversations discreetly.
Google has already previously admitted recording conversations on Assistant in a blog post on July 11, 2019. However, the tech giant clearly said that it does not do so without the magic word. It further assured that it only sends audio to its servers after summoning the AI.
Google Assistant Records Audio Secretly
According to Android Authority, representatives from Google admitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology of India that Assistant records audio even when products featuring it are not being used.
The tech giant also noted that their employees listen to such recordings as the speech recognition technology uses them.
Nevertheless, Google clarified that it is not being done in a creepy way, assuring that their staff is not listening to our sensitive conversations. It was further established that they only have access to limited parts of the audio.
Notably, the search engine giant did not disclose what sets the line to figure out which conversations are non-sensitive or sensitive.
Google Assistant Recording Conversations Mistakenly
The Google Assistant has recorded audio without permission in the past. However, the company fixed the error immediately.
VoiceBot reported on August 11, 2020, that Google similarly admitted that Assistant records audio even without saying “OK Google,” blaming a software error.
The tech giant goes on to say that a small number of users have been affected by the issue. Since then, Google has assured users that the error has been resolved.
Specifically, Google Home devices due to Nest Aware have faced the inadvertent recording mess back then.
Google Assistant Recording Leak
Meanwhile, the audio recording of Google’s assistive AI has also previously been leaked, as per CNBC.
On July 11, 2019, about 1,000 customer confidential conversation recordings were exposed by its partners. Google said that their third-party language reviewer for the Dutch audio was responsible for it.
The tech giant did not tolerate the incident and vowed to take action against their partner. Meanwhile, the company reviewed its processes to avoid the incident from occurring in the future.
Google clarified that the language reviewer only had access to 0.2% of their users’ recordings.