Google recently pulled a plug on its Home Mini smart speaker top touch function after it revealed there was a security flaw which violates privacy.
On Wednesday, Google announced it was permanently removing all top touch functionality on its Home Mini smart speakers after a security flaw was discovered in some of the units.
The privacy bug in question allowed some units to record sounds at random times and transmit the audio to Google’s servers without the users knowing it.
Google has told the device owners to remain calm as it has put up measures to help resolve the problem. On the weekend, a software update was issued to address the issue.
“We take user privacy and product quality concerns very seriously,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “Although we only received a few reports of this issue, we want people to have complete peace of mind while using Google Home Mini.”
Before the modification, users had two options for engaging and controlling the device. It could be activated with a long press on the top of the device or the voice command “OK, Google.” With the modification, users will be limited to using the voice command.
The security flaw was revealed by Artem Russakovskii, founder of Android Police, who later discovered that the unit he was reviewing woke up “thousands of times a day” to send recordings to Google after registering “phantom” touches on the top of the device.
The Google Home Mini offers the same functionality as the original even though they are different in design. The device allows you to talk to Google Assistant to stream music, control your smart home, check your calendar and search the internet too.
If you’re looking into buying this marvelous product, the Home Mini will be available in stores by October 19th and will come in coral, chalk and charcoal colors. One can also preorder it today for $49 (177,870 Ugandan Shillings).
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Spur Magazine. He is also the co-founder of the Innovware project and a freelance consultant passionate about tech, programming, games and entertainment.