Here's one way to let users know that the gadget you sold them includes a microphone that you forgot to tell them about: You can announce an over-the-air software update that enables the microphone in the device to support a digital assistant triggered by voice commands.
Google has apologised for installing microphones in one of its devices without telling its customers.
Google also said that the microphone has never been turned on and "is only activated when users specifically enable the option". That was an error on our.
"This is the kind of thing that makes me paranoid of smart home devices", tech commentator Nick Heer wrote on his blog Pixel Envy today, the BBC reported. A Google Spokesperson said it was an error and it should have been mentioned on the spec sheet.
The problem: Nest users didn't know a microphone even existed on their security device to begin with. Our worries about smart home devices appear to be proving true.
When the company's Nest Secure home alarm system hit the market, its product information didn't mention a microphone. "Google should be held to account for wrongly advertising this product".
She added: 'It is hard to believe Google cares about people's privacy after selling a security product with a secret microphone in it'. The inclusion of the microphone was a practical way of making a device more versatile, and potentially more useful, as technology developed.
In its defense, Google says that the Assistant never listens in without being prompted by the wake phrase ("OK Google").