Google admits its virtual assistants indulge in Eavesdropping

After Amazon, American Tech giant Google has admitted that its virtual assistants do involve in eavesdropping without the knowledge of its customers. Meaning, the internet juggernaut has agreed to media reports saying that its smart home products reportedly indulge in recording private conversations of users in order to improve the products and services upcoming in the future.

This news was first reported by VRT NWS of Belgian which adds that a team of Google researchers is assigned the duty of listening to such conversations scrapped from Google Home and Android Smart Speakers.

Alphabet Inc’s subsidiary claims that the objective of such kind of eavesdropping is to analyze the conversations; listen to the customer’s speech to improve the operations of its voice-activated Google Assistant operating in smart home products including Android-powered smartphones.

VRT NWS claims that the company only reviews a small number of audio snippets via its company staff while the rest of the recordings are pushed to Google Contractors or freelancers from different platforms.

Note 1- The recordings are sans the usage of regular wake up words such as ‘Ok Google’ or ‘Hey Google’.

Note 2- Recordings included conversations taking place between parents and children, wife & husbands, professional conversations, personal recordings of couples, and phone call snippets.

Google reacted to the news by admitting that it does indulge in eavesdropping by partnering with transcription experts from a Dutch audio company. And all was/will be done to improve the business of virtual assistance. How the conversations reached the desk of the media resources remains a mystery still.

Note 3- Early this year, Amazon was alleged of indulging in the same of secretly listening to its user’s conversations via its voice-based assistant ‘Alexa’. The retail giant confirmed the activity and added that it was doing it to help train its virtual assistant’s AI response.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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