Yesterday, we revealed how all of our Google Assistant recordings are being heard by Google contractors. Now, the reason behind this is for Google Assistant to improve its speech recognition. A Google contractor or subcontractor listens to those recordings and then transcribes them for the Assistant to understand.
It is also obvious that Google does not use or store these recording for other purposes. But now, some of those Google Assistant recordings are leaked.
A whistleblower has provided the leaked recording to VRT News. VRT News says that Google maintains secrecy in sending recordings to their contractors. This is via not mentioning the usernames in recordings but only providing them in numbered form.
However, you can easily know the personal information about users from these recordings says the report. Now, Google has commented on this report saying that it is true that Google records your Assistant conversations.
The company says that a very little part of these recordings are actually used for better speech recognition. Having said that, the company also mentions that these recording being leaked is a breach of its data security policy.
These recordings are only listened to whenever you say ‘Okay Google’ which means that the Assistant or Google Home comes in listening mode.
Also, we can understand that Google Assistant does not master each and every accent at the moment perfectly. Therefore, Google does need to record these conversations from Non-English speaking countries for better understanding.
On this, Google says that it needs those recordings to “understand the nuances and accents of a specific language”
But Google still maintains that it never intends to leak those recordings and they have made data security policies for this as well. The company has also said that they will take action on this matter
“We just learned that one of these language reviewers has violated our data security policies by leaking confidential Dutch audio data. 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,”