Google Home Mini Turns Into A 24/7 Spy On One Tech Reporter

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The bug essentially was that the touch panel on the top of the Google Home Mini, meant to activate the device when a user put down their finger on it, was activating at random times even when nobody was touching it. "The update will be completely rolled out by end of day October 15, 2017", Google's statement reads.

We have made the decision to permanently remove all top touch functionality on the Google Home Mini. The Home Mini is designed as a miniature version of the Google Home that is tiny enough to sit anywhere in your house and can play music or make calls and other smart functions with the help of Google Assistant.

After a short privacy scare over the weekend that involved Google Home Mini and its top touch area functioning improperly, Google has gone ahead and permanently killed the feature. This raised a serious privacy concern and Google acknowledged earlier this week that the bug affected a small number of units. The rationale behind the move is Google giving people "complete peace of mind" when they use Google Home Mini, the company said. The search giant has explained that the button on the top was faulty and activated on its own. The Home Mini volume can still be adjusted using the touch control.

Either way, we must remember that every Google Home device will still be constantly "listening" in order to pick up on your "Ok Google" and "Hey Google" commands - the difference is that the listening should, as always, be kept local until an actual request is given after the fact. Soon after, Android Police's Artem Russakovskii, who was one of the reporters who received a test unit, discovered that his device was turning on by itself, recording his conversations, and uploading them to Google.

While it's certainly conceivable that Google would be able to redesign the Home Mini's software to reject prolonged accidental activations, the bad optics of the situation somewhat forced its hand here. Also, the side touch volume controls on the device still works. As Google is gearing up to start shipping the Home Mini, glitches like this are not good news at all. Since, Russakovskii touched the panel randomly instead of saying "OK Google", the defective touch panel started recording the events.

For now, no one else has reported any such issue in the device, and the reviews coming in are also encouraging.