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Google resumes a controversial program that harvested audio from its smart home devices but says it will now opt users out by default

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Daily Mail
September 24, 2019

Google said it is continuing a program that harvests audio from its smart home users but with some new and improved privacy protections.

According to the company, users of the Google Home and Android smart home devices will now be prompted to review privacy settings in ‘Voice & Audio Activity’ and according to a blog post, will now be opted out of a program that stores their audio by default.

Previously, the company had been harvesting audio somewhat covertly – a practice made public by a whistle blower in July.

‘Recently we’ve heard concerns about our process in which language experts can listen to and transcribe audio data from the Google Assistant to help improve speech technology for different languages,’ said Google in a blog post.

‘It’s clear that we fell short of our high standards in making it easy for you to understand how your data is used, and we apologize.’

The company also said it has also improved AI filters meant to prune out unintended audio and that it will delete most recordings after a few months.

Users are now allowed to review their recordings and delete them manually at any time.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 4:08 am

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