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Google will 'permanently remove' Home Mini feature that led to constant recording

12 October 2017

Google confirmed in a statement that it is permanently removing the top touch functionality of the Home Mini. This raised a serious privacy concern and Google acknowledged earlier this week that the bug affected a small number of units. Although we only received a few reports of this issue, we want people to have complete peace of mind while using Google Home Mini. "As before, the best way to control and activate the 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".

While the touch point removal doesn't actually impact any real functions on the device, given it is a voice assistant and you would rather use your voice to control things, but touch points are always great as a fallback option. Since, Russakovskii touched the panel randomly instead of saying "OK Google", the defective touch panel started recording the events. 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 smart speaker will go on sale October 19 for $49 and made its public debut a week ago at Google's biggest hardware event of the year. But it turned out that some units had an issue: they would register touches even when no one was there, leading the units to start recording over and over and over again, which is pretty darn creepy. Ars Technica reported that Google's patch had disabled the touch panel of their test unit even though the mini speaker did not act "crazy".

With the top button gone, the Home Mini now has to be activated entirely by voice, which isn't really a huge limitation since it's created to be a voice assistant. 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. "We rolled out an update on October 7 to mitigate the issue", Google said in a statement. They said that the issue stemmed from a touch control mechanism that was "behaving incorrectly".

Google will 'permanently remove' Home Mini feature that led to constant recording