Google will one again have human workers to listen to users’ voice recordings. Few days ago, Google sent email messages to users who have used Google’s voice products such as Google Assistant and Google Maps and asked them to opt into audio sharing. Previously, all users have been opted out automatically.
There are two things we should be concerned about. First, people being opted out doesn’t mean that their data have been purged. Google still has access to all audios that have been recorded and sent to it. Also, there’s no proof that Google hasn’t been listening to these recordings and/or haven’t shared it with third-parties.
Second thing is that Google doesn’t explain all the story to people. “We recently updated our settings and included more detail about how Google uses voice and audio recordings to improve products like Google Assistant for everyone.” A Google spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider.
Google doesn’t explain to people how this can affect people’s privacy and how they share people’s conversations, whether they have consent for that specific conversation or not, with third-parties.
Until last year, Google had human employees including third-party contractors listen to audio recordings of users to evaluate how well its AI transcribed audio. Google paused the practice last September amid widespread backlash after reports first surfaced about the practice.
Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft faced similar criticism along with Google, last year for letting humans listen to audio clips from their users. Google is lying about its program because it’s not telling the whole story to people. Many people probably opted in with no clue about how their privacy is going to violated.