Along with second generation Pixel devices Google also launched its 2 home assistants Google Home Mini and Google Home Max. The Home Mini was a nice cute small sized home assistant which can easily be adjusted in small places. The device is really nice but recently some of the users started complaining that the device is acting weird. The device was reported to be spying on users 24/7. The Google Home Mini was supposed to be activated and start listening after a trigger word but some of the user noticed that the device was always on and was listening and recording data on 24/7 basis.
Google immediately responded to the complaint and after initial investigation found that some of the Home Mini devices had some hardware issue which was the cause behind this weird behavior. Google immediately rolled out a fix for the affected devices.
The initial investigation also revealed that the faulty Home Mini units were continuously listening, recording and submitting the submitting everything it was hearing during the day on 24/7 basis, irrespective whether the device was activated or not by the trigger words.
Google found that the cause of this abnormal activity was a touch option on top of the Home Mini which triggers Google Assistant. The faulty units had some problem in the touch panel which caused them to listen to the users on a constant basis. Google has currently disabled the touch option through software fix. Most probably the faulty units will be replaced soon.
Although the issue was immediately resolved but this sure is a privacy concern. The question is should we really trust these devices for our privacy. Any disruption in their system either a hardware or software issue can result in a privacy leak and negatively affect the user. Do give your opinion in the comments.