Google Home Mini spies on everything reviewer said 24/7, transmits recordings to Google’s servers

“When the first home assistants were announced, I was excited. A device I could wake up with a simple hotword that would answer my questions, set reminders, turn on the TV, and dim the lights, all without me having to get off the couch, sounded fantastic. Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, Google’s Home, and a myriad others, most recently the Home Mini, have invaded our kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms. Heck, I put one in the bathroom,” Artem Russakovskii reports for Android Police. “I didn’t give too much thought to these privacy concerns because they all sounded theoretical and unlikely.”

MacDailyNews Take: Typical fragmandroid settler thought pattern. As in: flatlined.

“My four Google Homes and three Echos sat quietly on their respective desks and counters, and only turned on when one of three things happened: I called out a hotword (Alexa for Echos and Hey or OK Google for Homes). A video I was watching or podcast I was listening to did this (I’m looking at you, Marques!) They heard a noise or word that they thought sounded like a hotword but in reality was not. This happened once or twice every few days,” Russakovskii reports. “That is until last week, when a 4th case came along – 24/7 recording, transmission to Google’s servers, and storing on them of pretty much everything going on around my Home Mini, which I had just received at the Made by Google October 4th launch event.”

 
“It was waking up thousands of times a day, recording, then sending those recordings to Google,” Russakovskii reports. “All of this was done quietly, with only the four lights on the unit I wasn’t looking at flashing on and then off.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It takes a special* person to purchase and install Google listening devices throughout one’s home.

Google claims they “fixed” the issue by removing all top touch functionality on the devices.

Google claims a lot of things. Caveat emptor.

*Special needs.

SEE ALSO:
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Edward Snowden: No matter what, do not use Google’s new Allo messenger app – September 23, 2016
Google to pay $5.5 million for sneaking around Apple’s privacy settings to collect user data – August 31, 2016
Apple takes a swing at privacy-tampling, personal data-guzzling rivals like Google – September 29, 2015
Apple reinvents the privacy policy – September 29, 2015
Apple selling targeted ads, but their new privacy policies shows they think different about tracking – September 29, 2015
Apple: Hey Siri and Live Photos data stays only on your device to ensure privacy – September 12, 2015
Apple issues iPhone manifesto; blasts Android’s lack of updates, lack of privacy, rampant malware – August 10, 2015
Edward Snowden supports Apple’s stance on customer privacy – June 17, 2015
Mossberg: Apple’s latest product is privacy – June 12, 2015
Apple looks to be building an alternative to the Google-branded, hand-over-your-privacy ‘Internet Experience’ – June 11, 2015
Understanding Apple and privacy – June 8, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants – September 18, 2014

20 Comments

  1. LOL, who would have guessed. Also how come Google dont get sued for lack of privacy? Apple gets hounded on regular basis for doing the right thing yet Google gets away with it. DISGRACE

    1. That’s an incredibly ignorant & convenient thing to say. You know better. If all things are equal to you then please, by all means, go all-Google all the time. What’re you waiting for?

      1. Ignorant how, exactly?

        MDN points to this flaw in a new product as evidence that its customers must be cognitively disadvantaged.

        I illustrate a major security flaw in Apple’s recent new product release and wonder if I must be similarly academically challenged to trust Apple.

    2. That was a rare coding error on Apple’s part.

      If you think Apple and Google are even remotely in the same league with regard to personal privacy of information, you are either an idiot or absolutely delusional. Period.

  2. Here’s ya’ a big dose of scary”

    “During an interview aired on December 3, 2009, on the CNBC documentary “Inside the Mind of Google,” Schmidt was asked, “People are treating Google like their most trusted friend. Should they be?” He replied: “I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. But if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines, including Google, do retain this information for some time. And it’s important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act. It is possible that information could be made available to the authorities.”

    1. Yes. The USPA made everyone everywhere including within the US into a terrorist suspect, meaning they are subject to “rendition,” imprisonment in a secret location, with no access to a lawyer, and without notifiying relatives. While it’s not used often, used even one time, as has been done, means to me that the USPA, Obama and his US Congress renaming it the US Freedom Act, has virtually replaced the US Constitution, thus making it the law of the land. This travesty is a direct result of a long line of economic colonialist policies practiced world-wide. Then the yearly US NDAA further defines “belligerents” as terrorist suspects while keeping its exact meaning a secret or, worse, undefined so that it can define it as it goes along. This is counter to the US Constitutional ideals. That it has not been used often just means that the gov. can use it whenever it wants against innocent citizens given that the FISA court nearly always OKs the charges without any rebuttal apportunity from the charged because of its secret nature.

  3. Watch The Circle, the movie with Tom Hanks and you will see where google is going with this.

    I saw it yesterday and it’s exactly that and beyond!

    Hey – the movie might even bee Google’s master plan!

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