Google has reportedly admitted that the Google Assistant records user audio even when it’s not triggered by the “Ok Google” hotword.
According to IndiaToday‘s sources, Google representatives apparently told a government panel in India that its employees listen to recordings of conversations between users and the Google Assistant.
While this is something Google has previously accepted, sources also told the publication that the company admitted that its AI assistant sometimes records audio on a smartphone or a smart speaker even when it’s not summoned by the user.
Google earlier claimed that its employees listen to recordings of what users say to the Google Assistant to improve its speech recognition technology for different languages. The company said that only a fraction of the audio is accessible to its employees and that they don’t listen to sensitive conversations. However, there’s no information about how Google distinguishes between sensitive and general conversations. Also, in 2019, one of Google’s language reviewers had leaked confidential audio data to a Belgian news outlet.