Google clarifies Assistant doesn’t secretly record conversations (Updated)

Google has responded to an email query from Android Authority about what the company stated in its deposition (see original article below) and how the Google Assistant records user audio.

“Since this was a closed-door hearing, we can’t comment on stories based on unnamed sources but I am sharing all the details that can help you understand how Assistant works, and this should clarify any doubts that you may have,” a company representative wrote in an email.

Google directed us to a Safety Center link for the Google Assistant. In it, the company states that the Google Assistant waits in standby mode until it’s activated by a user.

Google also writes that “in standby mode, the device processes short snippets of audio (a few seconds) to detect an activation – like when you say Hey Google. If no activation is detected, then those audio snippets won’t be sent or saved to Google.”

Also, when the Assistant detects its wake word, “the recording can include a few seconds before you activate your Assistant to catch your request at the right time.”

According to IndiaToday‘s sources, Google representatives apparently told a government panel in India that its employees listen to recordings of conversations between users and the Google Assistant. While this is something Google has previously accepted, sources also told the publication that the company admitted that its AI assistant sometimes records audio on a smartphone or a smart speaker even when it’s not summoned by the user.

Google earlier claimed that its employees listen to recordings of what users say to the Google Assistant to improve its speech recognition technology for different languages. The company said that only a fraction of the audio is accessible to its employees and that they don’t listen to sensitive conversations. However, there’s no information about how Google distinguishes between sensitive and general conversations. Also, in 2019, one of Google’s language reviewers had leaked confidential audio data to a Belgian news outlet.  ReadMore


Source : androidauthority