Well this isn’t good. Approximately 1,000 in-home recordings captured by Google smartspeakers have been leaked. To make matters worse, 153 of these convos (so 15%) were recorded without the use of the wake phrase “Hey Google” being used to initiate the recording. Translation – Google’s voice-activated digital assistant is recording what’s going on in users’ homes even when it’s supposed to be dormant.
Right now you may be asking how these recordings were leaked in the first place. Google (and Amazon for that matter) pays people to listen to some Google Assistant recordings and transcribe them into text. This means a real person could be eavesdropping in on private conversations you’re having in your home.
Predictably the 1,000 conversations included intimate moments, fights, and conversations between parents and children. They also captured business-related conversations which included proprietary information not meant for public ears. Needless to say, all of this is no bueno.
Google confirmed the leak in a blog post, and laid the blame on a single Dutch language reviewer. Regardless of who leaked the information, the bigger problem is that these recordings exist in the first place.