Google admits Assistant leak, privacy breach

Thursday, 11. July 2019 19:39

Alphabet Inc.'s Google on Thursday acknowledged that one of its Dutch language reviewing partners, who are tasked with improving its speech technology, leaked around 1,000 of confidential audio data to a Belgian news site. The company said that the Privacy Response teams are conducting an investigation into the matter and that around 0.2% of all voice recordings are assessed and transcribed by the language reviewers.

Google's Product Manager for Search David Monsees said that the Google Assistant only sends audio to the company after the device detects that a user is interacting with it, but that the underlying software may sometimes recognize some noise or words in the background as a signal, prompting the device to start recording.

Previously, Belgian VRT news site reported its journalists were able to listen to more than a thousand excerpts recorded via Google Assistant and that in multiple instances they could hear users' addresses and other sensitive information.

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Breaking the News / MA