Google, who is determined to introduce new ways of data analysis and information storage is possible in a troubled situation. The Irish Data Protection Commission which is also the official watchdog of Google privacy in the EU reported that several contractors were able to hear the audio of users of Google Assistant.
Alongside numerous other voice command assistants, Google launched Google Home, a smart speaker that connects with users wifi and is modulated by voice commands allowing users to interact with it. The Irish Data Protection Commission received a notification regarding a breach that informed them about the situation. It included the conversation between people and the Google assistant we’re clearly audible to the contractors. Google has since been in a bit of a puddle and has also been heavily fined by the commission. Ireland’s commissioner for data protection, Helen Dixon said that the organization is also reviewing other tech companies including Twitter, Apple, and Facebook’s WhatsApp and Instagram.
Google was quick to react and apologetically said that they are working continually with language experts to improve its digital home assistant service. In their review, they said “We just learned that one of these language reviewers has violated our data security policies by leaking confidential Dutch audio data,” Google said in the post. “Our security and privacy response teams have been activated on this issue, are investigating, and we will take action. We are conducting a full review of our safeguards in this space to prevent misconduct like this from happening again.”
Overall the fact is this is a piece of disturbing and scary news. Progress in technology is appreciated by people with open arms but incidents like this can really make people question the entire development and wonder are we really “private”?