Google's contractor leaks confidential audio data

15.07.2019

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Google is now dealing with the breach of confidential audio data, including private conversations recorded on Google devices in Belgium and Netherlands.

The files were accessed and misused without authorisation by a Google’s contractor, a language expert who was hired to improve the AI system for voice interactions.

The incident evoked the concern about smart devices which can listen to and record your talks when you are not aware of this.

More than a thousand of audio files containing private dialogues, business calls and arguments were leaked by an employee to VRT NWS, a Belgian news organisation trespassing against security policies.

The incident indicates two problems: Google Assistant appears to record audio when people don’t realise they are being recorded, and is incapable of securing people’s confidentiality.

The investigation is on as the reason for the leak – whether it was just a spill or a malicious action – is to be disclosed.


A monitoring system tracks a violation from the very beginning, and a specialist responsible for risk mitigation is equipped with instruments for the detection of the individual, purpose, means the information got leaked and who it was send to.