Uh Oh, Google Home Mini Defect Causes Constant Recording

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Normally the Home Mini and devices like it only wake up the assistant once "OK Google" is detected.

The number of devices believed to be affected by the bug is quite low - being limited to devices given out at a "Made by Google" event in the United States, the company informed Sky News, however it may still cause concern for British consumers.

Discovered by one user Artem Russakovskil and reported on Android Police, it appears that some Google Home Mini units have been recording everything round them 24/7 rather than replying to direct voice commands activated with phrase "OK Google". It would even become alert when the TV was switched on, trying to respond to what was being said. I saw thousands of items, each with a Play button and a timestamp, all attributed to the cryptically named com.google.android.apps.chirp/mushroom/prod and Assistant. He got in touch with the company at this point.

Introduced just last week, the Google Home Mini is available to preorder at the moment, and it won't ship sooner than October 19th.

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"The Google Home team is aware of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Mini devices that could cause the touch control mechanism to behave incorrectly". The smart speaker has a panel at the top which can be long-pressed to activate the Assistant, but due to a malfunction some units thought there was a press when there weren't any. If you're having any additional issues, please feel free to contact Google Support at 1-855-971-9121.

Russakovskii seems happy with Google's response.

The Home Mini smart speaker is created to respond to commands when it hears the wake phrase "OK Google". Upon further investigation of his Google account's My Activity portal, Russakovskii realized the device had transmitted thousands of audio recordings to the company without his knowledge, all of which were available for playback. Unfortunately, the touch panels on some units, specifically those handed out to journalists at Made by Google, acted like someone was constantly pressing them, triggering the device to turn on and start recording.

Google is still working on a permanent fix for affected units, as well as the origin of the touchpad issue. It assumed that the user is holding the top of the device to ask a question, and hence it randomly activate and recorded everything going around.

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