Earlier this year, a report came out that said that the Amazon team in charge of auditing Alexa commands had access to users' geographic coordinates. Now a report says that Google employees have been listening in on some Google Assistant conversations.
A new report says that there's a system that collects audio via Google Assistant and thousands of employees around the world use to listen to audio clips. A Google subcontractor explains to VRT NWS that employees listen to these audio excerpts to analyze the audio recordings to check that the script generated by speech recognition tech is accurate, with the goal of helping to improve Google's search and reactions to voice commands. These clips are disconnected from a user's information.
VRT NWS goes on to say that it listened to more than 1000 audio snippets and that 153 of them were conversations in which the "Ok Google" command wasn't given. One source claims that he had to describe a recording in which "he heard a woman who was in definite distress." It's said that the people analyzing the audio clips also overhear a lot of medical questions.
In response to this report, Google confirmed that it works with "language experts around the world who understand the nuances and accents of a specific language." These people review and transcribe some Google Assistant queries to help Google better understand the languages.
Google went on to say that its language experts review "around 0.2 percent of all audio snippets". These clips are not associated with user accounts, Google promises, adding that reviewers are told only to transcribe snippets directed to Google and not any background conversations.
Finally, Google said that its Security and Privacy Response teams have been activated to investigate the issue of a language reviewer that "violated our data security policies" by leaking confidential Dutch audio data.