Google Quietly Shuts Down Home Mini Feature That Quietly Records Everything

rgMekanic

[H]ard|News
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May 13, 2013
Messages
5,906
Google launched the $49 Home Mini last week, but it had one small flaw, recording every sound in your home 24/7 and sending it to Google servers. An Android Police writer noticed his new Home Mini he had received at the Made by Google October 4th launch event was waking up thousands of times a day, recording, and sending the recordings to Google's servers. Google's temporary fix is simple - deactivating the touch feature. It is believed that around 4,000 Home Minis have been affected.

This is something that has been feared since these Home Assistants started becoming a thing. While I don't normally wear my tinfoil hat out in public, I find it amusing that these devices have gained such popularity after the hatred and fear of the Kinect spying on you, to the point of products being made to cover its cameras while not in use. Suffice to say neither Alexa or Home are going to be showing up in my home anytime soon.

So there you have it. Don't be surprised that the long-press to activate Assistant functionality, described in many reviews, isn't working. My Google Home Mini was inadvertently spying on me 24/7 due to a hardware flaw. Google nerfed all Home Minis by disabling the long-press in response, and is now looking into a long-term solution.
 

gxp500

Gawd
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Mar 4, 2015
Messages
865
So you can ask what the temperature is without looking outside, so you can impress your friends how tech savvy you are... there's plenty of other useless things it can do!
 

RogueTadhg

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
1,527
Control your stuff with just your voice. Lights, music, any of gizmos if you're inventive enough.
 

rgMekanic

[H]ard|News
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May 13, 2013
Messages
5,906
who is this for?

prisons? spies? jealous lovers?

why do you want a wi-fi enabled microphone in your home?>

BREAKING: The NSA IS SPYING ON EVERYONE!!!!!!

In other news: Buy this Wi-Fi microphone and put one in every room of your house! It's "convenient"

unbelieveable.gif
 

Krixon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
371
Control your stuff with just your voice. Lights, music, any of gizmos if you're inventive enough.

This. While I don't know how capable the Google offering is, my Amazon Alexa has become a very welcome addition to my home. I have her set up to control my projector, my lights, my stereo system, my thermostat, and send text messages among a ton of other things. Granted, these things aren't very useful for the non-tech savvy individual who has no drive to set up the various actions.
 

Jim Kim

2[H]4U
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
3,870
Hopefully by the time 24/7 monitoring devices become mandatory, they will have dropped in price.:vulcan:
 

BoogerBomb

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
6,470
"Inadvertently" spying due to a hardware flaw, lol. That shit did what it was designed to do, gather as much information on you to serve up ads and to sell it to whichever third party companies wanted the data. Google is pissed right now that someone found out so fast and is working on a solution to reactivate it but have it undetectable.
 

Vermillion

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
4,332
"Inadvertently" spying due to a hardware flaw, lol. That shit did what it was designed to do, gather as much information on you to serve up ads and to sell it to whichever third party companies wanted the data. Google is pissed right now that someone found out so fast and is working on a solution to reactivate it but have it undetectable.

Ill take lack of reading comprehension and a click bait headline for $500 Alex!

It was only the Minis handed out at two specific events. Not every device had the flaw...
 

tunatime

Well...OK
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
5,062
Ill take lack of reading comprehension and a click bait headline for $500 Alex!

It was only the Minis handed out at two specific events. Not every device had the flaw...
What if they knew someone they wanted to spy on was going to one of the events?
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
my phone is sending my voice to googles servers?

probably not.

Back in 2001, I worked in HQ Air Force Special Operations Command. Way back then, they warned that phones , which back then weren't very smart, but were becoming so, could be hijacked to listen 24x7 by "nefarious people", and so you couldnt even bring a phone in the building. It all sounded like a bunch of baloney back then. The reason they knew though, is because the military / government / NSA was the driver behind using this forthcoming technology to spy on the public. This is fact. Years later, we all know the NSA was/is spying on us. Do you have anything interesting to hide? Probably not. Could their be a dragnet operating on any portion of the public cell phone conversations and data at any time? Definitely. The technology, infrastructure, and means to operate above the law or "within the law but hidden from public" is there. Is it happening right this moment? Only those operating hidden from public with too much authority know the answer to that. With all the data Google collects and all the stuff the NSA can intercept, I'm betting the odds are against you having any semblance of privacy with a cell phone, ever again.
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
7,696
my phone is sending my voice to googles servers?

probably not.
How do you know?

Anyway by that standard, Technically neither was this mini suppose to be, it was only a glitch. So I don't see the point to your post?

Google Home when functioning as intended is almost no different than the "OK, Google" function in android phones

Do you think Law Enforement can't flip any of those on? Do you think a malicious App, can't?
 

dbr1

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
102


'...but it had one small flaw...'
Pretty sure the only 'flaw' was that people figured out what it was doing.
 

rudy

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
8,704
You know that I don't get, why do people buy these silly little cheap speakers. Why cant you just tell your phone to turn the lights on and off. I think the real thing that tech companies need to do is just figure out how to get phones to know what room you are in based on some factor, maybe very accurage GPS or some other mapping. Really homes need some sort of standard mapping interface anyway so their roombas, and everything else can know what to do.
 
D

Deleted member 184142

Guest
my phone is sending my voice to googles servers?

probably not.

Actually it is. Lots of the voice features are "learned", but not just your voice is sent, but other actions, habits, etc etc, where do you think Google gets lots of it's data from? BTW, Apple does this as well, and Apple is said to have a much richer data set than Google for it's ad network. Some of these you can opt out of, but I do not believe there is a way to opt out of ALL of the data collection on either platform and it doesn't change the issue, that you have a mic and camera with you at all times that they, or other third party that might be able to break into your phone have access to. And now with the government pushing for backdoors to be built into just about everything, including encryption used on phones, that will probably be getting much MUCH easier to do.

Oh, and don't forget constant streaming of GPS location. maps.google.com/locationhistory
 

Master_shake_

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
17,795
Actually it is. Lots of the voice features are "learned", but not just your voice is sent, but other actions, habits, etc etc, where do you think Google gets lots of it's data from? BTW, Apple does this as well, and Apple is said to have a much richer data set than Google for it's ad network. Some of these you can opt out of, but I do not believe there is a way to opt out of ALL of the data collection on either platform and it doesn't change the issue, that you have a mic and camera with you at all times that they, or other third party that might be able to break into your phone have access to. And now with the government pushing for backdoors to be built into just about everything, including encryption used on phones, that will probably be getting much MUCH easier to do.

Oh, and don't forget constant streaming of GPS location. maps.google.com/locationhistory

yeah location services on my device as well as tracking is all turned off.

also when you block ads on android google can't make a profile of you.

the only thing they may get is my gboard typing.
 

Dk975

Gawd
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Messages
864
Another reason not to buy these devices. Is there a way to test if Google is going to shut this feature off? I have stopped using the "Hey Google" voice thing, and just type everything in.
I don't know why people think they need this stuff. They just seem to get brainwashed by shiny new things, but don't realize that all these new devices are just to collect their data. If I had a phone with a fingerprint reader, I would not enable it, I don't care how "convenient" it is.
 

RayderR6

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
295
Well it is much easier than dealing with laborious task of flipping light switches, for one. It's like the un-sliced bread that plagued the people of the early 20th century.

Pretty soon, you won't need your arms or legs, just your blob self and a mouth, won't even take until the year 5555 anymore, man won't still be alive.
 
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