“Disable YouTube for Guests” on Google Home Rolling Out to Some Users

Jul 27, 2018
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It would be absurd if Google Home devices didn’t have watertight integration with Google services.  You can use Google Home to send videos to a Chromecast device, tune in to a specific channel on YouTube TV, and play music with YouTube Music and a lot more. However, in its current state, it is easy for just about anyone to ask your Google Home speaker to perform some actions. Finally, Google is putting some restrictions in place to prevent such occurrences.

A new option was discovered in the Google Home settings by a Reddit user in the Google Home subreddit. There is a new toggle for “Disable YouTube for guests.” aimed at disabling the YouTube services for unrecognized voices. Although Google Home requires recognized voices for several actions, plenty of commands don’t. For example, anyone can ask about the traffic, but not everyone can add items to the grocery list.

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YouTube doesn’t require a recognized voice and just about anyone can command Google Home to control YouTube, YouTube TV, or YouTube Music. The toggle makes it so only recognized people could access your YouTube. It’ll be handy when you don’t want people to mess up your YouTube recommendations. It can also be used to prevent unauthorized people from accessing YouTube TV.

It appears that the new feature is being soak-tested and will be rolled out to a wider audience later. Frankly, I’m surprised this wasn’t implemented earlier. A Google Home is deeply linked with a person’s Google account and should not be accessible by non-authorized users. The Google Home and Alexa are still gaping security holes and can easily be manipulated via hidden commands concealed in recordings or music. Even South Park managed to set off the smart speakers nationwide via an episode. The show’s dialogue managed to add ‘scrotum bags’ and the likes to people’s shopping list.

Source: XDA developers

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