Thousands of audio clips from Google users were leaked. A whistleblower at Google shared some of the audio he reviews with VRT. According to VRT, devices with the Google digital assistant are recording conversations and sounds picked up by Google and sending them to humans for review.
Google admitted individuals eavesdrop on people in a blog post on Thursday, “experts review and transcribe” audio from any device using google or any of their products utilizing Google’s speech technology. “This is a critical part of the process of building speech technology, and is necessary to creating products.”
Google had previously not made this practice clear in the terms and conditions of its products.
According to the whistleblower, some of the audio isn’t even voice commands, but personal conversations being recorded without people’s knowledge.
Many silicon valley tech giants are really just mass surveillance companies, gathering vast amounts of data on people, through emails, social media, search histories, purchases, the words and phrases they use, who they talk to, where they go, and the companies build comprehensive profiles of everyone on earth.
In April, a spokesperson told CNET about Amazon eavesdropping, “We only annotate an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings in order improve the customer experience.”
And FOIA documents have exposed the mass surveillance of companies like Palantir.