Google confesses to listening to customers conversations

Yolanda Curtis
July 16, 2019

The company admitted that people can get access to these records after some of them in Dutch spilled into the public space. The best advice we have for this is, either don't buy a device like a Google Home or Echo. What it does not explicitly say is that these recordings are shared with its employees too.

Google hires language experts to transcribe audio clips recorded by Google's AI assistant who can end up listening to sensitive information about users. Whenever you make a request to Google Home smart speaker or any other smart speaker for that matter, your speech is recorded.

"We're always working to improve how we explain our settings and privacy practices to people and will be reviewing opportunities to further clarify how data is used to improve speech technology", said Monsees. The application was made available to Indian users in February 2019, and since then it's ruling the charts. Media coverage that shapes the story in terms of giant tech secretly gathering user data follows a comfortable narrative that misinforms the reader, increases misunderstanding and directs attention away from the necessary problems that need to be solved. These "language experts", as they're called, use a collaborative system built by the company to share and analyze sound snippets, assisting Google's AI assistant in deciphering the nuances of human speech.


Google adds that the audio samples these contractors listen to amount to about 0.2% of all recordings, and that user account details aren't associated with any of them.

However, VRT NWS found these measures may not be enough. Sometimes, we indicate whether it is a man's voice, a woman's voice or a child's voice. Another family was able to recognize the voice of their son and grandson in the recording.

However, the Belgian broadcaster VRT News has published a report in which it claims to have over 1000 user registrations, of which 153 should never have been registered as the "Ok Google" command would never have been clearly given.


The company acknowledged earlier this year that its reviewers listen to anonymous recordings in response to a Bloomberg report revealing that Amazon.com Inc's Alexa also uses contractors to listen to recordings.

"We just learned that one of these language reviewers has violated our data security policies by leaking confidential Dutch audio data", said Monsees.

Companies not being upfront about the transcription process can cause legal trouble for them. All this should be done in full respect of the privacy and security of users. "You have to be very specific on what you're implementing and how". With Spotify support on Google Maps, you can simply stream your favorite music on Spotify from Google Maps app interface.


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