Google accidentally activated a feature to Google users that leave Google Home Smart Speakers to listen to the sounds of the objects in homes.
A user on Reddit spotted a notification on his smartphone which alerted on the fact that one of his smoke detectors detected smoke while he was cooking.
In general Google Home Smart Speakers only responds to wake up words like “Hey Google” or “OK Google”. But in this case, Google was listening to the passive sounds.
Other users have also reported receiving alerts regarding the sound of breaking glass, Popped bubble wrap, an air compressor tank, and other high-pitched noises that sound like alarms.
What Google Spokesman Say About this Incident?
In a statement to the protocol, a spokesman for Google said: “that the function has been accidentally activated via a recent software update that has now been reversed.”
Although the function provides greater safety, it is a compromise for privacy. Google has stated firmly that the only way smart speakers listen to users is through wake-up words.
Google is not the only company with this function; Amazon Echo added a feature like this in 2018 called Alexa Guard.
In addition to listening for suspicious noises, Alexa also checked to see if she hears whispers. If people whispered she would also answer quietly than normal.
However, Alexa Guard must be enabled by users through a voice when they leave their home, rather than all the time.
Related Article: How To Find Out What Google Knows About You?
This is not the first time that Google has enabled features customers did not know. In 2019, the company installed hidden microphones in its secure Nest alarm system.
Google said the update was “never intended to be a secret”. The company could have been potentially listening to users. Until later on Google announced it as an update for Google Assistant.
What do you think about this act by Google, do you trust your smart speakers? Let us know your views in the comments.