The Google Home Mini secretly recorded peoples' conversations and played into a big fear about smart speakers

The concept of a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo is a bit creepy. When it first came out, many people were wary of a device designed to listen in on them. When no major privacy problems with the device surfaced, Amazon’s smart speaker became a surprise hit product.

Google hasn’t been so lucky. Reports that a flaw in its some of its new Google Home Mini gadgets secretly recorded conversations has played into consumers’ worst fears. As we can see in this chart from Statista, based off data from NPR and Edison Research, 36% of people don’t buy smart speakers because they don’t like the idea of a device always listening to them. Google has disabled the button on the Home Mini that was causing the issue, but if may be too late.

On the other hand, those who were able to dismiss concerns over the device and purchase one are loving it. According to NPR and Edison’s data, 42% of smart speaker owners say the devices are essential to their everyday lives, and 65% say they wouldn’t want to go back to life without one. If companies are able to lower prices, avoid more PR disasters, and educate consumers they will likely be able bring even more consumers on board.

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