Technology

Google Home Mini Caught Recording Audio Due to Hardware Issue

Google Home Mini Caught Recording Audio Due to Hardware Issue

Then, like a twist in an episode of Black Mirror, Russakovskii discovered on his Google activity history that the Mini had been recording thousands of times per day without any direction or audible announcement.

But when the home speaker is Google's new Home Mini, all sorts of red flags go up.

Because the Google Home Mini ($49) doesn't officially launch until next week, no paying customers have been impacted.

Russakovskii contacted Google PR, which immediately began investigating the issue.

As Android Police reports, a small number of Google Home Mini review units given to tech reviewers malfunctioned, persistently recording audio in the background without being activated by a hotword. According to the emails received by Artem, Google stated that this appeared to be a hardware bug in some of the Google Home Minis.

As an added precaution, all activity and queries created by long-pressing the touch sensor on Home Mini speakers between October 4-7 have been wiped and will no longer show up on owner's My Activity Page. But that should only happen after you use a hot word to activate it.

More news: Iran has 'all options on table' if United States blacklists Revolutionary Guards
More news: Madrid Asks Catalonia to Explain Whether It Has Declared Independence
More news: Chicago area's soft-drink tax repealed by county board

A software update for the Home Mini disables physical gestures so the units can only respond to the voice command "OK Google" while Google works on a long term solution. Google's Home Max smart speaker is not affected by the software flaw at all. The company also says it "removed any activity/queries that were created by long-pressing the top of a Google Home Mini between October 4 and October 7, when the software update was rolled out".

There, clear as day, were thousands of items, each with a play button and a timestamp - recordings.

It looks like the problem has something to do with the touch panel on the device.

Russakovskil quickly informed Google of what he found and the company pushed out a patch to fix the issue by removing the touch activation from the Home Mini. Further information for those affected can be found on this Google Support page. The devices basically act as if someone is long-pressing the button to activate Assistant all the time, so they are recording nearly constantly.

Ars can confirm that our pre-release Mini had the long-touch functionality when we first set it up, and the touch-to-talk feature was recently disabled.


  • Florida could be without 5 starters, plus Toney vs Texas A&M

    Florida could be without 5 starters, plus Toney vs Texas A&M

    Florida will go full gator during this week's matchup with Texas A&M , airing Saturday, October 14th at 7pm on ESPN 2. The Gators will wear an alternative "swamp green" uniform created to look like the scaly skin of an alligator.
    Family left toddler in corn maze, didn't realize until next morning

    Family left toddler in corn maze, didn't realize until next morning

    The mother and child had been part of a large group, and she did not realize he got separated from the others, police Sgt. The maze informed guests that they had a missing child, but nobody came to claim the boy by the time the maze had closed.
    A Nintendo Game Boy Classic could be the next retro redo

    A Nintendo Game Boy Classic could be the next retro redo

    A recent trademark filed in Japan suggests that the company could be working on Nintendo Classic Mini Game Boy . Even though a Classic Mini Game Boy is not completely out of question, there are some limitations to it.
  • Super Mario Odyssey gets a live-action music video

    Super Mario Odyssey gets a live-action music video

    This trailer also does a great job in showing how Mario's feats amaze the people around him, as everyone smiles in Mario's wake. By now, there shouldn't be a doubt in anyone's mind that Super Mario Odyssey is going to be at least a little weird.
    Barcelona: 'We are ready to buy Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho in January'

    Barcelona: 'We are ready to buy Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho in January'

    The Catalans could be back in January however and Grau says the club stand ready to chase players the coaching team want. Barcelona have turned up the heat on Liverpool and will bid £120million for Philippe Coutinho again in January.
    Opec sees rise in oil demand next year

    Opec sees rise in oil demand next year

    The United States is not party to the deal, and its crude output has risen 10 percent this year to more than 9.5 million bpd.
  • Reliance JioPhone killer is here

    Reliance JioPhone killer is here

    Through this association, we aim at strengthening our reach with the consumer that resides at the heart of smart telephony. Effectively, you are going to spend about Rs. 6000 extra after purchasing the phone only to get Rs. 1500 back from Airtel.
    Danny Rose prefers Man Utd move over Chelsea

    Danny Rose prefers Man Utd move over Chelsea

    Starsport can reveal Rose has set his heart on leaving Tottenham for Old Trafford ahead of the World Cup in Russian Federation . Tottenham Hotspur and England left-back Danny Rose has returned to training after more than eight months out with a knee injury.
    Did Neville ask for his WWE release?

    Did Neville ask for his WWE release?

    PWInsider.com is reporting that according to multiple WWE sources they have spoken with Neville has not departed WWE. This is really all we know for right now, but certainly, more will come out about this in the coming days here.
  • A Lone Democrat Just Introduced Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

    A Lone Democrat Just Introduced Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

    Green's resolution is considered "privileged" by the House, meaning it has to be considered by the end of the week. We don't have the evidence; we don't have the case. "Members don't want this vote".
    USA  warship sails near South China Sea, Beijing denounces Washington's move

    USA warship sails near South China Sea, Beijing denounces Washington's move

    USA ships have repeatedly sailed past the disputed islets in the South China Sea, triggering an angry reaction from China. Vietnam, China, and Taiwan all have overlapping claims in Paracel Islands .
    Donald Trump won't be state guest as United Kingdom  visit downgraded

    Donald Trump won't be state guest as United Kingdom visit downgraded

    However he will not sleep at Buckingham Palace as the guest of the Queen, and there will not be a glitzy banquet in his honour. They said a full state visit will follow later at an unspecified date.