I do not think it's a surprise to anyone that Google uses audio recordings of the things we say to the Google Assistant on our phones and Google's smart speakers. After all, data collection is one of the many ways in which Google not only makes money, but also trains its AI, which makes its services better over time so we can use them even more and provide more data to Google. It is a vicious circle.
However, what surprised many people was the revelation that Google is really allowing human workers to listen to the conversations that users have with the Google Assistant, and that many times these are audio clippings that the Assistant caught by accident. without the user having ever invoked the activation word, which makes this much worse.
This was reported by the Belgian public broadcaster VRT NWS yesterday, after which Google has responded officially, and the company seems to think that it is perfectly fine for this to happen.
In its statement, Google said "This is a critical part of the process of creating speech technology, and it is necessary to create products like the Google Assistant" and that the company takes precautions to protect to users. "identities
Speaking directly about the report of the Belgian public broadcaster, Google said in its blog post, "We have just learned that one of these language reviewers has violated our data security policies by filtering data Dutch audio confidential ", and that their " Security and Privacy Response Teams have been activated on this issue, are investigating and will take action. "We are conducting a full review of our safeguards in this space. to prevent bad behavior like this from happening again "
So, if you're using a smart speaker from Google Home or a Nest Hub, you might stop and think if the utility it offers is enough for random strangers to hear the things you're saying to the Assistant, and also, times, which you say when the Wizard is activated accidentally.