Ever Since Google has launched its Google Home device in 2016, thousands and millions of people have installed and are still installing these smart speaker devices in their office or at home
You can ask it all sorts of petty questions to such a smart structured piece of electronic.
If you ask -‘Okay Google, how’s the traffic heading towards Woodlands in Texas?’ the device on its own switches on and a computer voice will read out the current traffic information. Seems very useful, right?
It is indeed!
After lot of scrutinization here are some quick pointers every Google home device owner should be updated with;
Everything is recorded
Not every smart device user is aware of the fact that everything you say to your Google Home smart speakers and your Google Assistant is being stored and recorded. But it is also clearly stated in Google’s terms and conditions.
Why is Google storing these recordings and why does it have a Google staff listening to them? They are not interested in what one is saying, but definitely the way it is been said. It is all possible because Google’s computer system comprises of, self-learning and smart algorithms.
Quick Flip of Google Home Interpretations
Speech recognition on its auto mode generates a script of the recordings. Google Employees then have to cross-check to describe the excerpt as precisely as possible: is it a child, woman or a man’s voice? What do they say? They write out every audible comma and every cough.
The good news is-These descriptions are continuously improving Google’s search engines, which results in better reactions to commands.
Alright! It’s all fair and green using this smart device. But do you know the Google Home Device Recordings May Not Be Private?!
Puzzled? Don’t be!
As this piece of blog will host some information which is a must read for all the device owners and even those who are planning to seize it.
A genuinely helpful and powerful piece of technology, but there’s a catch. It’s so good and useful because it listens continuously for voice commands from you. Those commands get recorded.
Recently, a revelation made by Google- it hires third-party contractors to transcribe and listen recordings made by the devices.
The purpose of the transcription sounds efficient though-to help the company improve Google Home’s speech recognition. But the company found itself in boiling water when a whistle-blower who is employed as a Dutch subcontractor came frontward with some disquieting information.
As he heard a wide range of things on the recordings, including an array of personal information, bedroom talk, addresses, domestic violence, business calls and conversations between parents and children.
To add up more to the worse aspect- in a survey of a thousand recordings, it was revealed that 153 of them should never have been recorded at all because the “OK Google” prefix command was never spoken!
Do you think Google might just hear and not respond towards it?
Definitely, Google has responded to the revelation, exclaiming only 0.2 percent of audio clips are recorded!
Home’s smart speakers are assessed by third party partners. Adding they said;
“We partner with language proficient around the globe to get enhanced speech technology by transcribing a diminutive set of queries.
Later it was been found out that one of these reviewers had violated Google’s data security policies by disclosing confidential Dutch audio data. And the probe is still on. So that such misconduct may not take place again.
Well, the candid approach would be, to keep such assessment in-house, and get to the peak of 150+ recordings that weren’t prompted by the “Okay Google activation phrase” which were made in the first place.
Though this work is critical to developing technology that powers products like Google Assistant. But as Google never fails to amaze us, it will assuredly bring a solution to such raised questions and work on the elements of privacy!
In any scenario if you use the technology, be attentive. Someone is or may be listening.
We will soon be back with a radical piece of write up.
Till then Keep reading and sharing!