Google Installs Room Listening Device On Chrome Browsers

First spotted by open source developers, the Chromium browser – the open source basis for Google’s Chrome – began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to...

Privacy campaigners and open source developers are up in arms over the secret installing of Google software which is capable of listening in on conversations held in front of a computer.

First spotted by open source developers, the Chromium browser – the open source basis for Google’s Chrome – began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to users.

It was designed to support Chrome’s new “OK, Google” hotword detection – which makes the computer respond when you talk to it – but was installed, and, some users have claimed, it is activated on computers without their permission.


Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room,” said Rick Falkvinge, the Pirate party founder, in a blog post. “Which means that your computer had been stealth configured to send what was being said in your room to somebody else, to a private company in another country, without your consent or knowledge, an audio transmission triggered by … an unknown and unverifiable set of conditions.”

The feature is installed by default as part of Google’s Chrome browser. But open source advocates are up in arms about it also being installed with the open source variant Chromium, because the listening code is considered to be “black box”, not part of the open source audit process.

“We don’t know and can’t know what this black box does,” said Falkvinge.

Opt-in or opt-out

Google responded to complaints via its developer boards. It said: “While we do download the hotword module on startup, we do not activate it unless you opt in to hotwording.” However, reports from developers indicate otherwise. After having identified Chromium as the culprit, developer Ofer Zelig said in a blog post: “While I was working I thought ‘I’m noticing that an LED goes on and off, on the corner of my eyesight [webcam]’. And after a few times when it just seemed weird, I sat to watch for it and saw it happening. Every few seconds or so.”

Google also blamed the Linux distribution Debian for downloading the non-open source component with Chromium automatically, rather than Google Chrome.

“The key here is that Chromium is not a Google product. We do not directly distribute it, or make any guarantees with respect to compliance with various open source policies,” Google developer mgiuca said.

Falkvinge countered Google’s explanations saying: “The default install will still wiretap your room without your consent, unless you opt out, and more importantly, know that you need to opt out, which is nowhere a reasonable requirement.” He says a hardware switch to disable the microphone and camera built into most computers is needed.

Voice search functions have become an accepted feature of modern smartphones, but their movement into the home through the smart TV, and now browser, have caused concerns over the possibility of being listened to within the home.

While most services require a user to opt in, privacy advocates have questioned whether their use, which requires sending voice recordings over the internet to company servers for processing, risks unintentionally exposing private conversations held within the home.

A Google spokeswoman said on Wednesday: “We’re sure you’ll be relieved to learn we’re not listening to your conversations – nor do we want to. We’re simply giving Chrome users the ability to search hands free at their computers by saying “OK Google” while on the Google homepage – and only if they choose to opt in to the feature.” source

NTEB is run by end times author and editor-in-chief Geoffrey Grider. Geoffrey runs a successful web design company, and is a full-time minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to running NOW THE END BEGINS, he has a dynamic street preaching outreach and tract ministry team in Saint Augustine, FL.
  • Google executives are all anti-Christians ( Antichrists )( 1 John 4:3 KJV )!!

    Dear Geoffrey, I use the Google Chrome, what other browsers should I use please?

    Please PRAY for our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America and Israel-Yisrael Everyday Everyone, also the entire EARTH Our True GOD CREATED!!

    Love and Shalom Everyone,


    • I use Chrome as well…I will investigate further and then post a recommendation.

      • zelta ogrady

        thank you, Geoffery. I went in and installed Start page, but can’t find where to install Google, not chrome. I would appreciate your input and knowing what you find out.

      • I will be watching for it. Chrome is so much faster than other options. It isn’t perfect, but one bad experience with Firefox convinced me to stop screwing around with other options. Geez, we knew this day was coming. It is a balancing act. Be connected with like minded people, or turn everything off and find other things to do. More and more I just say screw it, the internet is the best place to make a difference when you are disabled . . . and live in prayerful union with the Holy Spirit 24/7/365.

    • Mozilla is also supposed to be private. At least that is what they are promising right now.

    • Mike

      Opera is good.

  • TeresaB

    The Pope’s Top Climate Change Advisor Does Not Believe In God – But He Does Appear To Believe In ‘Gaia’

    • carrierwave

      Interesting, thanks for the link TeresaB. John Lennon wrote and sang a song called “Across the Universe” back about 1968 and sings a “chant” during the beginning of the chorus: “Gaia guru … Nothings going to change my world..”

      We all thought it was some silly beatle babbling, but it turns out “Gaia” is an earth worship “deity” mixed with eastern Hindu philosophies. The beatles were paid to inject these new cult religion tenents into their music through a U.K. institute specializing in mind control a branch of the CIA in England.

  • carrierwave

    All “smart T.Vs.” have components installed that can both “listen and view” into your living quarters if you are connected to the internet/dish technologies. It does not matter if your T.V. is on or off. Welcome to “1984”. I “masking-tape” over the viewers on all laptops I use also.

  • mikki

    I got rid of google a long time ago because it was reported that they spy on you. Enough people get rid of them and maybe they will get the message.

  • Pingback: Google Installs Room Listening Device On Chrome Browsers | Walker Ministries | Virginia Beach, VA()

  • Big Brother arrives just as predicted. The book “1984” arrives. Soon they will be rewriting our history. They already manipulate the news. Best be making your peace with God and be washed in the blood before it’s too late. They will take away your right to worship next.

    • Andrew


      They’ve already started doing that, people getting into trouble for speaking out in alliance with Abba’s word on homosexuality, including ‘churches’…..Messiah said this in Luke 17:26-30

      26 “And as it came to be in the days of Noaḥ, so also shall it be in the days of the Son of Aḏam: 27 “They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noaḥ went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 “And likewise, as it came to be in the days of Lot: They were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building, 29 but on the day Lot went out of Seḏom it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed all. 30 “It shall be the same in the day the Son of Aḏam is revealed.

      The days of Lot, there was rampet homosexuality & beastiality….it’s worse today, people are actually being taken to court and being tried/accused for/of hate speech. People don’t want to abide in Yahuah’s commands, ordinances and statutes, they want to do their perverted evil with not consequences, only to their detriment, there will be consequences, most severe..

  • Tusitala

    They are welcome to spy on me…. All they will see is Jesus and the King James Bible… I am not afraid. Are you saved? Are you washed in the Blood?

  • jes

    Can’t criminal charges be brought against Google? It is illegal in many states to record or listen in to conversations without the party’s knowledge or consent unless you have a warrant. Surely Google is breaking numerous laws across the country and should be brought to account!

  • Leonard

    I simply deleted Chrome from my computer. Hope that solves the problem…

    • Live4Him

      It may not, Leonard. Most malicious software remains behind even when you uninstall the software package that delivered it. Google is about as antichist as a company can be. I promise they will not make it eady to get rid of spyware, and may even make it impossible without wiping and reloading your computer.

      We should keep our eyes open for further information. Inevitably, somebody will track it down and figure out how to get rid of it.

  • Frosty

    Just because a device in its idle state is listening does not necessarily mean that it is “spying” on you. A device that has the “Okay Google” feature will, of course, listen actively for the trigger word. This does not mean that Google is transmitting everything you say while the device is idle to their servers.

    Furthermore, ANY program is a potential threat, not just Google. Any program could tap into your computer or device’s microphone or webcam. Most laptops have a built-in microphone and webcam.

    Granted, Google is notorious for pushing updates onto devices without user confirmation or consent.

  • Hi your website doesnt seem to show up under the browser Demonecromancy 19 I will try using Firefox, in the mean time perhaps you should check your plugins ^^

  • Abdul Rahman Koroma

    The app itself(Google chrome) is mark of the beast. Observe it keenly and prove it yourself. observe where red meets green, green meets yellow, and where yellow meets red.


Join Our FREE Subscription Service!

End times Bible prophecy news happens fast, add your email now to get our latest articles sent to your inbox in real-time.

Join 12,486 other subscribers


24 hours a day, seven days per week, Now The End Begins keeps you informed of what's happening around the world as it relates to the end times and Bible prophecy. Your generous non-tax deductible contribution helps us to do that. Thank you in advance for your much-needed support.