People are listening to your Google Assistant queries — Surprise

Google admits listening to some smart speaker recordings

Google admits listening to some smart speaker recordings

VRT NWS says that they have three sources who confirm this is how Google works.

VRT News was able to listen to some of the audio recordings of Dutch and Belgian people and even discerned the addresses of some people from the recordings.

Google Assistant is used on Google Home smart speakers, Android devices, and Chromebooks. These include both purposeful and unconscious recordings that can contain sensitive information. Given that VRT NWS was able to confront people with their own recordings, the reality would appear to be quite different. The scariest part is that some of the conversations were recorded even when people did not trigger the Assistant by saying "Ok Google". But VRT NWS said that 153 of the 1,000 recordings it listened to "were conversations that should never have been recorded and during which the command "OK Google" was clearly not given". Some of these recordings contained highly sensitive and private information. We are actively investigating this and when we find a breach of our policy, we will take action quickly, up to and including the termination of our agreement with the partner. "We are conducting a full review of our safeguards in this space to prevent misconduct like this from happening again".

The technology company pays "language experts" around the world to listen to and transcribe audio recordings made by users. "These language experts review and transcribe a small set of queries to help us better understand those languages". This work is crucial for the development of technology that makes products such as the Google Assistant possible.

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But you might be surprised to learn that Google's employees listen to recordings, and that they might hear more than you think. Recordings made with Google Assistant, the smartphone app, are of telephone quality.

Amazon recently confirmed that it stores Alexa conversations until customers delete them.

While the recordings are not associated with user accounts, people often share personal information like names and addresses that can reveal their identities. It also added that its contractors only judge "about 0.2 per cent of all audio fragments", which are "not linked to any personal or identifiable information".

When you use Google Assistant to get answers to your queries and perform daily tasks, not only the device is listening to your commands but Google contractors could also listen to your conversation with the Assistant. Google uses these transcriptions to make Google Assistant smarter.

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