After months of revelations that smart speakers get a very human intelligence boost from contractors who transcribe and review customer audio snippets, the mea culpas are flowing in. At the end of August, Apple issued a rare apology about how it had handled human review of audio for Siri. Amazon and Microsoft have made it easier for users to understand how their data might be used and control whether or not it is eligible for review at all. And now Google is joining the fray with a set of privacy announcements about Google Assistant.
Google paused human audio review worldwide in July after reports that a contractor was leaking audio snippets in Dutch. Early Monday, Google said in a blog post that human review will now resume with increased options for user data control. The company emphasizes that sending audio for review has never been the default mode on its devices. But you’ll now be prompted to review your settings choice if your devices are currently opted in to the “Voice & Audio Activity” program that potentially sends your recordings out for vetting.
“We believe you should be able to easily understand how your data is used and why, so you can make choices that are right for you,”