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Google admits one of its language reviewers leaked private audio data


It's no longer a shocking secret that tech giants such as Amazon and Google are listening to customer interactions with their digital assistants all in an effort to improve the user experience. There are privacy implications, of course, and a Google-employed language reviewer has clearly crossed the line by leaking private Dutch audio data.

In a blog post detailing how it protects speech data from users, Google admitted that one of its partner language experts violated its data security policies. Its Security and Privacy Response teams are already looking into the situation.

The Mountain View tech giant employs language experts to review and transcribe snippets of recordings made by its users in order to improve how Google Assistant understands different languages. In the process, Google's language experts can listen to approximately 0.2 percent of all audio recordings, though these snippets do not reveal information related to user accounts.

Google says it's re-evaluating its security policy to avoid violations like this in the future. It's worth noting, perhaps, that this isn't the first time the search giant figured in a privacy violation of this sort. In 2015, it was found that the Chromium browser was automatically installing software that contained secret audio code that could be used to listen to users and record everything the program would hear.



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