Google had to admit that the moderators listen to the voice commands that users give the smart assistant Google Assistant. The reason for this was the leak about thousands of audio files that are stored “Corporation of good”. The company has stated that allows employees to listen to customers to improve the quality of services and to those who leaked it, will work it out.
Google had to admit the wiretap users of the voice assistant Google Assistant. Reported by Business Insider, citing Belgian broadcaster VRT NWS, who managed to access thousands of audio recordings in which people speak to your virtual assistant.
As VRT says the NWS, “Corporation of good” hires independent contractors who listen to and transcribing audio recorded Google Assistant.
After this story was covered in the foreign media, the Google representative had to admit that the company actually writes and listens to users, but only doing it for their benefit — with the aim to improve the technology of voice assistant.
Google handles so only 0.2% of all voice commands that give users, but this work is “critical” for the development of the Google Assistant. The collected data should help the voice assistant is better to understand people speaking different languages and with different accents, the company said.
As for the leakage of data that is referenced by the VRT NWS, Google promised to take steps against the employee who leaked the information.
“We are investigating and a full review of our security policies to prevent such abuse in the future”, — said the representative of Google.
Interestingly, in April, Bloomberg reported similar violation by the company Amazon, which has its own voice assistant Alexa. Then it became known that employees of Amazon not only records conversations but listening to them, and later spread to the Internet, to over them laughed. In addition, some users of the Alexa complained that the assistant first recorded their speech, and then by mistake sent it to friends of the user.
If from call recording through Google Assistant, you can completely opt-out by clicking just one button, the Alexa continues to store the audio user for an indefinite time even after the user gave a command to delete all information.
On the eve it became known about the wiretapping scandal at Apple in the app “Radio station” was found vulnerability that allows you to monitor an iPhone without the owner’s consent. Apple acknowledged the bug and apologized for the inconvenience. As a result, the application of the “Walkie-talkie”, allowing to exploit the vulnerability, has been disabled until then, until the corresponding patch.
“Despite the fact that we have not abused anyone for this issue and what are the special conditions and prerequisites necessary for this purpose, we take the security and privacy of our users very seriously.
We decided that disabling the application is the right solution, as this bug allows you to listen to conversations of other customers on the iPhone without their permission.
We apologize for this incident and any inconvenience caused,” — said the press service of the company.
Last summer, an Australian expert on cybersecurity and a former lecturer at Edith Cowan University Dr Peter Hannay conducted a study, which concluded that smart phones can listen to their users, reacting to some words are triggers that can “Wake” the phone by analogy with the phrase “OK, Google” or “Hey Siri”. Once the gadget detects this audio trigger, it records a snippet of conversation and then sends it to those apps that are installed on the smartphone, such as Facebook or Instagram.
“Periodically audio clips of your conversations are sent to servers of other companies, but so far no accurate understanding of exactly what triggers you respond to the smartphone,” said Hanna.
The researcher admits that Facebook or Instagram can be thousands of triggers, and an ordinary conversation with a friend about buying new jeans can cause a barrage of ads about the sale of denim in these applications.
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