With a week to go until its official retail release, it appears that Google's Home Mini is having some issues and we aren't talking about reboots, but instead something more serious like the invasion of one's privacy.
According to Artem Russakovskii of Android Police, the demo unit he secured was recording near continuously and transmitting the data to Google. With smart speakers, you normally can start an interaction by vocalizing a hot word or by pressing a button on the device itself.
On the Home Mini, you use the phrase "Hey, Google.." or "Okay, Google.." and this will generally cause the speaker to wake and listen for commands. But, you can also tap and hold the top of the speaker to engage this mode as well. In the case of Russakovskii, it appears that the unit had thought that it was being physically activated even without the button on top being pressed. This was causing it to randomly wake and record.
Google issued a statement in regards to the issue:
"We learned of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Mini devices that could cause the touch mechanism to behave incorrectly. We rolled out an update on October 7 to mitigate the issue. If you're still having issues, please feel free to contact Google Support at 1-855-971-9121 to get a replacement Google Home Mini."
According to the support page for the issue, the firm states that any data that was collected from October 7 through October 10, has been purged. If you are curious, you can take a look at our unboxing and setup of the Home Mini and expect a review soon.