GOOGLE allegedly admitted to listening to conversations recorded by Google Assistant even without a user's "Hey Google" trigger.
The tech giant made the admission during a closed-door meeting with Indian government officials, according to a report, though Google has attempted to clarify the claims.
Sources also told IndiaToday the company admitted that its AI assistant will at times record audio on a smartphone or smart speaker even when it hasn't been summoned.
Google clarified how the assistant system works in a statement to Android Authority.
"In standby mode, the device processes short snippets of audio (a few seconds) to detect an activation -- like when you say, 'Hey Google.'
"If no activation is detected, then those audio snippets won't be sent or saved to Google."
The statement also noted that when the Assistant detects its wake word, "the recording can include a few seconds before you activate your Assistant to catch your request at the right time."
Google has previously admitted that employees listen to short recordings to improve language comprehension in its products.
"As part of our work to develop speech technology for more languages, we partner with language experts around the world who understand the nuances and accents of a specific language," David Monsees, product manager for Google Search, explained in 2019.