Google Home Mini Starts Recording 24/7 by Itself

Google Home Mini Starts Recording 24/7 by Itself

Google issued the following statement, "We have learned of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Minis that could cause the touch mechanism to behave incorrectly. The update will be completely rolled out by end of day October 15, 2017", Google's statement reads. The rationale behind the move is Google giving people "complete peace of mind" when they use Google Home Mini, the company said.

Google's Home Mini gadgets were unveiled on 4 October as part of a revamp of its line of smart speakers.

It's not clear whether Google made a decision to cut the feature because it couldn't find a way to fix it or simply because it didn't want the issue to run and run, and become a PR nightmare.

With the top button gone, "Home Mini" will now be activated entirely by voice. The basis for the elimination of top touch is chronicled in a post published Tuesday by Android Police reviewer Artem Russakovskii. Something creepy happened two days later, when Russakovskii noticed that the device is getting activated repeatedly and recording randomly.

While it's certainly conceivable that Google would be able to redesign the Home Mini's software to reject prolonged accidental activations, the bad optics of the situation somewhat forced its hand here. You can still adjust the volume by using the touch control on the side of the device. According to Wired, Google has perfectly pitched the product, emphasizing the device's smart features over its functionality as a speaker.

Google removes all top-touch functionality from the Home Mini. Doing so will, however, affect the accuracy of the device's voice recognition. The limited group of people given the device - media, Google employees, and other attendees of the hardware event - will no longer see any interactions initiated with the touch function in My Activity, a place Google users can review, hear, or delete Google Assistant interactions. The fix, though, means a feature from the Mini would no longer be available. It's a good thing this issue was uncovered before the home hubs went on general sale, but does perhaps raise wider concerns around the potential for recording devices in our homes to malfunction, and capture information we may not be happy with sharing.



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