Do you use Google? The massive search engine accounts for 77 percent of all web searches worldwide, and that includes countries like China where Google is banned. Even if you are not part of the 77 percent that uses the powerhouse search engine, you cannot avoid seeing Google ads on websites that you visit.
Google is constantly gathering data about your interests via searches. They collect information about where you go through Google maps locations.
Now it seems they are collecting information about what you say via voice recordings.
Is Google Assistant overreaching?
You may have used a feature on your phone or web browser called Google Voice Assistant. It is a useful way to search for things or give your smartphone commands without having to type everything in.
"Hey, Google. Set my alarm for 6:30 am Monday."
"Hey, Google. Find the nearest Taco Bell."
"Hey, Google. What is 25 percent of 37?"
"Hey, Google. What is the temperature outside right now?"
These are really common and convenient ways to communicate with your Google Assistant. In this case, they may come off as mostly benign, and they are, but what if your Google Assistant was recording you without your consent? The folks over at MailOnline have received several transcripts of Google assistant where it appears the owners' conversations may have been recorded without their knowledge.
In one particular example, a user's device recorded him giving the password to his back gate. The transcript reads:
"If you ever get booked down to my house for some reason the key safe for the back door is 0783."
In other recordings, the assistant appears to have been recorded telling a friend about an omelette he was making. Another transcript reveals a user speaking to a friend about the "technology of the future."
A spokesman for the firm said, "We only process voice searches after the phone believes the hot word 'OK Google' is detected."
The operative word here is "believes" if background noise and other factors come into play, the Google assistant may mistakenly begin recording your conversations without you knowing. Even though the technology is constantly improving itself by learning to recognize your voice and accent, it is still prone to making mistakes.
Video proves that Facebook is always listening
Facebook is used by over a billion people worldwide. With a similar voice recording software to Google's, it has been revealed that Facebook's audio recording may be used for much more devious means. Click here to see the video that shocked Facebook users and nearly blew up the internet.