One of the big concerns with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home is that there’s a device in your home recording everything you say. The companies always say that the devices only listen when you use the special command, but some people don’t believe that. What if they are right?
Some models of the Google Home Mini were doing exactly that. Several users have discovered that the Mini was almost constantly recording sounds and transmitting to Google. This was discovered on the My Activity page where thousands of false commands were listed. Needless to say, this is a pretty major issue. The devices were listening almost 24/7.
The problem is with the touch controls of the Mini. You can tap the top of the speaker to manually activate Assistant, which is what appears to have happened. The lights would come on but no sound was made to indicate that Assistant was listening. Google has already sent out a fix, which simply disables the touch input.
This issue is only affecting a small amount of Google Home Minis that were given away at the Google Event last week. Google claims it will not affect retail units. Regardless, this is the exact thing that people are worried about with these devices. Google needs to be more careful.