Tech reporter Artem Russakovskii from Android Police wrote a harrowing story about how the Google home assistant he was given to test out at an October 4 tech event turned into a creepy surveillance unit.
Russakovskii reports that the device recorded him thousands of times per day without even being instructed to. It also tried to randomly respond to environmental noises. After asking for Google’s help, the reporter found that the unit had a damaged touch panel that recorded ‘phantom’ touch events.
The new device is equipped with a sensitive surface that reacts to touch stimuli that can be used to issue a command instead of saying “OK Google”. The defective device was reportedly recording random touches so it could have the authorization to start audio recording and store the output on Google servers.
Google Admits There’s a Problem
Google Home team acknowledged they have a pre-release problem, on the company’s support page. Nevertheless, the issue affecting the touch-control interface affects just “a small number” of devices, Google assured users.
“We immediately rolled out a software update on October 7 to mitigate the issue,”
the statement from the Google team says.
Meanwhile, the company disabled the feature that starts audio recording after a long-press move on all Google Home Minis. Google also said that they’ve erased any recordings made between October 4 and October 7 by faulty devices from Google servers.
Reportedly, only people who received the device before the release date were affected by the glitch. The Google Home Mini is slated for release Oct. 19, 2017.
Image Source: Google store