Home / Software & Service News / Google disables Home Mini’s touch function to give you ‘peace of mind’ after improperly recording users

Google disables Home Mini’s touch function to give you ‘peace of mind’ after improperly recording users


Google has disabled the Google Home Mini‘s top touch functionality, which gives users the power to interact with Google Assistant. The basis for the elimination of top touch is chronicled in a post published Tuesday by Android Police reviewer Artem Russakovskii. After a few days, he found that the Google Home Mini given to him was carrying out thousands of uninitiated recordings, not just when the top of the device was touched or when he said “Hey Google.”

The smart speaker will go on sale October 19 for $49 and made its public debut a week ago at Google’s biggest hardware event of the year. Virtually every device at the October 4 event lauded Google Assistant as a selling point.

Russakovskii first began to notice something was wrong after lights atop the device started blinking and Google Assistant continuously repeated that it did not understand, even though nothing had been said. Shortly after the issue was brought to Google’s attention on October 7, the company created a support page, rolled out a software update, and removed all correspondence with the device initiated with the top touch between October 4 and October 7. The limited group of people given the device — media, Google employees, and other attendees of the hardware event — will no longer see any interactions initiated with the touch function in My Activity, a place Google users can review, hear, or delete Google Assistant interactions.

Google appeared to take what happened seriously, as the unit was picked up for examination, assessed, and a software update issued within the span of roughly 24 hours, Russakovskii said.

“We take user privacy and product quality concerns very seriously,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement today. “Although we only received a few reports of this issue, we want people to have complete peace of mind while using the Google Home Mini. We have made the decision to permanently remove all top touch functionality on the Google Home Mini. As before, the best way to control and activate the Google Home Mini is through voice, by saying ‘Ok Google’ or ‘Hey Google,’ which is already how most people engage with our Google Home products.”

Google’s Home Mini delivers better sound quality than Amazon’s Echo Dot, but this misstep comes at a critical time. The Home Mini arrives on October 19, and will be followed by several products with AI assistants from tech giants. Microsoft and Apple will put their first smart speakers on stores shelves in the weeks ahead with the release of the Harman Kardon Invoke and HomePod. Amazon, meanwhile, unveiled the second generation Echo and near a half dozen other products late last month.

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The fall TV heavyweights are back, and this week that includes AMC's The Walking Dead, returning for season number eight. Sports fans can get ready for NBA action, while gamers can finally get a fresh taste of Gran Turismo. South Park's long-awaited game is finally arriving as well, while Spider-Man Homecoming tops the 4K Blu-ray list and Netflix premieres season two of Miranda Sings' Haters Back Off. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

Blu-ray & Games & Streaming

  • Annabelle Creation (VOD)
  • The Dark Tower (VOD)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (4K, 3D)
  • Girls Trip
  • Samurai Jack: The Complete Series
  • Serenity (4K)
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
  • Apollo 13 (4K)
  • Barry Lyndon
  • American Gods (S1)
  • Stranger Things (S1)
  • Gran Turismo Sport (PS4)
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch)
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 2 (PS4, PC, Switch)
  • Let's Sing 2018 (PS4, Wii)
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Xbox One, PS4)
  • Elex (Xbox One, PS4)
  • Dungeons 3 (Xbox One, PS4)
  • Megaton Rainfall (PS VR)
  • Rogue Troper Redux (PS4, Xbox One)
  • WWE 2K18 (Xbox One, PS4)

Monday

  • Colts/Titans, ESPN, 8:15 PM
  • Lucifer, Fox, 8 PM
  • The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 8 PM
  • The Voice, NBC, 8 PM
  • 9jkl, CBS, 8:30 PM
  • Dancing with the Stars, ABC, 8 PM
  • WWE Raw, USA, 8 PM
  • Supergirl, CW, 8 PM
  • 3 Hikers, Starz, 9 PM
  • Valor, CW, 9 PM
  • The Gifted, Fox, 9 PM
  • Kevin Can Wait, CBS, 9 PM
  • Me, Myself & I, CBS, 9:30 PM
  • Scorpion, CBS, 10 PM
  • The Brave, NBC, 10 PM
  • The Good Doctor, ABC, 10 PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11 PM

Tuesday

  • The Mindy Project, Hulu, 3 AM
  • Patton Oswalt: Annihilation, Netflix, 3 AM
  • Slasher (S2), Netflix 3 AM
  • Celtics/Cavaliers, TNT, 8 PM
  • Rockets/Warriors, TNT, 10:30 PM
  • The Flash, CW, 8 PM
  • Finding Your Roots, PBS, 8 PM
  • The Voice, NBC, 8 PM
  • Lethal Weapon, Fox, 8 PM
  • NCIS, CBS, 8 PM
  • WWE Smackdown, USA, 8 PM
  • The Middle, ABC, 8 PM
  • Fresh Off the Boat, ABC, 8:30 PM
  • DC's Legends of Tomorrow, CW, 9 PM
  • Black-ish, ABC, 9 PM
  • Bull, CBS, 9 PM
  • The Mick, Fox, 9 PM
  • This is Us, NBC, 9 PM
  • Inside the NFL, Showtime, 9 PM
  • Fantomworks, Velocity, 9 PM
  • The Mayor, ABC, 9:30 PM
  • Brooklyn Nine-nine, Fox, 9:30 PM
  • The Mane Event (series premiere), BET, 10 PM
  • Undercover High, A&E, 10 PM
  • Cyberwar, Viceland, 10 PM
  • Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, ABC, 10 PM
  • Law & Order: True Crime, NBC, 10 PM
  • NCIS: NO, CBS, 10 PM
  • American Horror Story, FX, 10 PM
  • The Challenge, MTV, 10 PM
  • Tosh.0, Comedy Central, 10 PM
  • Weediquette (season premiere), Viceland, 10:30 PM
  • 90s House, MTV, 11 PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11 PM

Wednesday

  • Chance, Hulu, 3 AM
  • Freakish (season premiere), Hulu, 3 AM
  • 76ers/Wizards, ESPN, 7 PM
  • The Blacklist, NBC, 8 PM
  • Empire, Fox, 8 PM
  • The Goldbergs, ABC, 8 PM
  • Survivor, CBS, 8 PM
  • Lucha Underground (season finale), El Rey, 8 PM
  • Riverdale, CW, 8 PM
  • Speechless, ABC, 8:30 PM
  • Dynasty, CW, 9 PM
  • Modern Family, ABC, 9 PM
  • Law & Order: SVU, NBC, 9 PM
  • Seal Team, CBS, 9 PM
  • Star, Fox, 9 PM
  • American Housewife, ABC, 9:30 PM
  • Timberwolves/Spurs, ESPN, 9:30 PM
  • Mr. Robot, USA, 10 PM
  • Shannara Chronicles, Spike TV, 10 PM
  • Criminal Minds, CBS, 10 PM
  • Chicago PD, NBC, 10 PM
  • Designated Survivor, ABC, 10 PM
  • Liar, Sundance, 10 PM
  • Are You the One, MTV, 10 PM
  • Channel Zero, Syfy, 10 PM
  • You're the Worst, FXX, 10 PM
  • Garage Squad, Velocity, 10 PM
  • South Park, Comedy Central, 10 PM
  • Broad City, Comedy Central, 10:30 PM
  • Rosehaven (season finale), Sundance, 11 PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11 PM

Thursday

  • Bomb Scared, Netflix, 3 AM
  • I Love You America, Hulu, 3 AM
  • Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 8 PM
  • Superstore, NBC, 8 PM
  • Gotham, Fox, 8 PM
  • Supernatural, CW, 8 PM
  • Chiefs/Raiders, CBS, 8:30 PM
  • The Good Place, NBC, 8:30 PM
  • The Eleven (series premiere), A&E, 9 PM
  • Arrow, CW, 9 PM
  • Scandal, ABC, 9 PM
  • Van Helsing, Syfy, 9 PM
  • The Orville, Fox, 9 PM
  • Will & Grace, NBC, 9 PM
  • Great News, NBC, 9:30 PM
  • The Walking Dead: Behind the Dead, AMC, 10 PM
  • Chicago Fire, NBC, 10 PM
  • Better Things, FX, 10 PM
  • The Mist, Spike TV, 10 PM
  • Bong Appetit, Viceland, 10:30 PM
  • The Rundown with Robin Thede, BET, 11 PM
  • The Timeline, NFL Network, 11 PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11 PM

Friday

  • Haters Back Off (S2), Netflix, 3 AM
  • Wheelman, Netflix, 3 AM
  • The Day I Met El Chapo (Episodes 1 - 3), Netflix, 3 AM
  • Red Oaks (S3), Amazon Prime, 3 AM
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, CW, 8 PM
  • Macgyver, CBS, 8 PM
  • Once Upon a Time, ABC, 8 PM
  • Tackle My Ride, NFL Network, 8 PM
  • Jane the Virgin, CW, 9 PM
  • Marvel's Inhumans, ABC, 9 PM
  • Active Shooter, Showtime, 9 PM
  • Z Nation, Syfy, 9 PM
  • The Exorcist, Fox, 9 PM
  • A Football Life: Sam Mills, NFL Network, 9 PM
  • Tough Guys, Showtime, 9 PM
  • Superstition (series premiere), Syfy, 10 PM
  • The Walking Dead: Walker World, AMC, 10 PM
  • Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus, Cinemax, 10 PM
  • Superstition, Syfy, 10 PM
  • Tracey Ullman's Show (season premiere), HBO, 11 PM
  • Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents, Comedy Central, 12 AM

Saturday

  • Too Funny to Fail, Hulu, 3 AM
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, BBC America, 9 PM
  • The Walking Dead: The Journey So Far, AMC, 9 PM

Sunday

  • The Toy Box, ABC, 7 PM
  • Outlander, Starz, 8 PM
  • Shark Tank, ABC, 8 PM
  • The Simpsons, Fox, 8 PM
  • Falcons/Patriots, NBC 8:20 PM
  • Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access, 8:30 PM
  • Ghosted, Fox, 8:30 PM
  • Wisdom of the Crowd, CBS, 8 PM
  • Outlander, Starz, 8 PM
  • The Walking Dead (season premiere), AMC, 9 PM
  • Family Guy, Fox, 9 PM
  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, CNN, 9 PM
  • Poldark, PBS, 9 PM
  • Ray Donovan, Showtime, 9 PM
  • The Deuce, HBO, 9 PM
  • The Last Man on Earth, Fox, 9:30 PM
  • NCIS: LA, CBS, 9 PM
  • Talking Dead (Season premiere), AMC, 10 PM
  • Good Behavior, TNT, 10 PM
  • Madam Secretary, CBS, 10 PM
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO, 10 PM
  • Ten Days in the Valley, ABC, 10 PM
  • This is Life with Lisa Ling, CNN, 10 PM
  • Unsung Hollywood, TV One, 10 PM
  • Vice Principals, HBO, 10:30 PM

[All times listed are in ET]

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