Google Assistant records your conversations even when not in use, the company reportedly admitted to an Indian government panel.
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POLAND – 11/22/2019: In this photo, a Google Assistant logo is displayed on a smartphone.
So, it turns out that even without saying the word “OK Google”, the AI assistant still listens to your conversations discreetly.
Google has previously admitted to recording conversations on Assistant in a blog post on July 11, 2019. However, the tech giant has made it clear that it won’t do it without the magic word. He further ensured that he only sent audio to his servers after invoking AI.
Google Assistant secretly records audio
According to Android Authority, Google officials admitted to India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology that the Assistant records audio even when products featuring it are not in use.
The tech giant also noted that its employees listened to recordings as voice recognition technology uses them.
Nonetheless, Google made it clear that this was not done in a frightening way, assuring that its staff did not listen to our sensitive conversations. It has further been established that they only have access to limited portions of the audio.
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May 07, 2019, USA, Mountain View: Google CEO Sundar Pichai announces news about Assistant language assist software at the Google I / O Developer Conference.
Notably, the search engine giant has not disclosed what defines the line for determining which conversations are non-sensitive or sensitive.
Elsewhere, here’s how much data Google Maps collects.
Google Assistant records conversations by mistake
Google Assistant has recorded audio without permission in the past. However, the company immediately corrected the error.
VoiceBot reported on August 11, 2020, that Google also admitted that the 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. Google has since assured users that the error has been resolved.
Specifically, Google Home devices due to Nest Aware encountered the registration mess inadvertently at the time.
Also read: Google Assistant to automatically fill out forms when users order in restaurants
Google Assistant recording leak
Meanwhile, the audio recording of Google’s assistive AI has also already been leaked, according to CNBC.
On July 11, 2019, approximately 1,000 recordings of confidential customer conversations were exposed by its partners. Google has said that its third-party language reviewer for Dutch audio is responsible for this.
The tech giant did not tolerate the incident and vowed to take action against its partner. Meanwhile, the company has revised its processes to prevent the incident from happening again in the future.
Google clarified that the language reviser only had access to 0.2% of its users’ records.
In other related news, the next Pixel smartphone will likely feature an upgrade to Google Assistant shortcuts.
Related article: Google Assistant’s ‘Tell Me A Story’ Feature Makes Bedtime Stories Available Anytime, Anywhere
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Written by Teejay Boris
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