Google disables Home Mini's top touch function after a privacy fiasco

Google disables Home Mini's top touch function after a privacy fiasco

The company has issued a software update that will disable the button entirely for all users of the device.

Now, that change will be permanent.

Either way, we must remember that every Google Home device will still be constantly "listening" in order to pick up on your "Ok Google" and "Hey Google" commands - the difference is that the listening should, as always, be kept local until an actual request is given after the fact.

Smart speakers like the Google Home Mini are created to start recording when a specific word is said like "Hey Google" or "Ok Google". "We've chose to permanently remove all top touch functionality on Google Home Mini". As before, the best way to control and activate Google Home Mini is through voice, by saying "Ok Google" or 'Hey Google, ' which is already how most people engage with our Google Home products. The volume rockers will work for adjusting the volume.

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Google launched "Home Mini" on October 4 for $49 at an event in San Francisco. Google Home Mini does exactly what it is built for, not taking too much space in the house, and still working just the way it should, notes Wired. On the Mini, this can be done by holding one's finger down on the top of the device.

According to commentators, Russakovskii's Home Mini seems to be one out of "a small number" of devices that are affected by the issue. When he checked his personal activity page on Google, the site that shows users' interactions with the search giant's services and the data it collects on users, he found sound files that had been uploaded to Google's servers from the Mini without his consent. However, customers who have been awaiting the gadget might well overlook the issue, considering how well and quick Google handled the problem, suggesting it was only a technical glitch and not a pre-meditated feature in the speaker. The buttons on those Minis were detecting touches even when there was no touch to detect.

Thankfully Google resolved this issue within 3 hours of Artem reporting it by sending out a software patch that completely disabled the button. (I wouldn't be surprised if it's both; the potential for the Mini to turn into a constant surveillance device would be a huge liability.) Either way, it's not the biggest loss, but it's not great to see such a major issue come up right as a product is about to ship.

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