There were also recordings from when the assistant was accidentally triggered.
VRT NWS was able to listen to thousands of these excerpts, including ones that shouldn't have been recorded in the first place.
VRT News was able to listen to some of the audio recordings of Dutch and Belgian people and even discerned the addresses of some people from the recordings.
Google Assistant is accurate and there's a reason why.
Although user information is de-linked from the audio excerpts to make them anonymous, the recordings themselves make it easy to know someone's identity, who can also be traced through their address or company name that the subcontractors look up on Google or Facebook.
In a statement, the company said a small number of anonymous recordings were transcribed by its experts, and revealed that an investigation had been launched after some Dutch audio data had been leaked. We are actively investigating this and when we find a breach of our policy, we will take action quickly, up to and including the termination of our agreement with the partner. A new report says the company has humans listening to recorded search queries to help improve the accuracy of its assistant. A company spokesperson answered "yes" and added that "we apply a wide range of safeguards to protect user privacy throughout the entire review process (both internally and with our affiliates)".
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Google unveiled the next-generation Google Assistant at I/O 2019, featuring an on-device speech recognition model-bypassing the need to upload voice samples to cloud systems.
While Google emphasizes that it anonymizes the snippets, replacing the user's name with a serial number, Belgian broadcaster VRT found that matching a voice snippet with its owner was not very hard, given the ample supply of addresses and sensitive information found on the recordings they were given.
Some of these conversations were not directed at Assistant and happened either as background noise or as a mistaken recording when Assistant thought it was being spoken to, but wasn't.
The company said the Google Assistant only sends audio to Google after the device has been activated. More information on how to manage and delete Google Assistant data can be found at this Google help page.
"Why is Google storing these recordings and why does it have employees listening to them?"
When Bloomberg reported that Amazon's Alexa was using thousands of humans to transcribe and annotate recordings, many made without the user's knowledge, Google gloated that its superior Home Assistant anonymized and distorted audio snippets.
When setting up a Google account, the option for voice and audio activity is set to off by default.