The new Google Home Mini is an awesome baby version of the regular home assistant device, but apparently the pre-release models have a serious issue. Those models were given out at the Google announcement event and they ended up recording everything they heard all the time.
Normally, Google Assistant only records what it hears after it’s triggered with the “OK Google” hotword. Unfortunately, the touchpad at the top of the Mini constantly thought it was being triggered and would record basically 24/7. While unintentional and not necessarily a security risk, that’s still very unnerving.
Google temporarily fixed the issue by disabling the touchpad on the top of the Mini. The company also says that release hardware won’t have this issue at all, so those who will be buying one (me included) have nothing to worry about. On top of that, all audio recorded after long presses on the touchpad has been deleted from Google servers.
Nonetheless, it’s an interesting case against having an always listening device in your house. A simple hardware issue or bug could record everything you say. Though Google handled it well, future problems are impossible to predict. Let us know what you think in the comments!