The press release by the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information said, "As the whistleblowers' report has shown, the employees commissioned by Google were able to gather personal information - some of it sensitive - within the private and intimate sphere of the persons concerned from the recorded conversations".
Johannes Caspar, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, said (PDF): "The use of speech assistance systems in the European Union must comply with the data protection requirements of the GDPR".
The workplace of Johannes Caspar, who as Hamburg's official for information security goes about as Germany's lead controller of Google on protection issues, said his power got the affirmation in the wake of opening procedures against Google. Shortly after we learned about the leaking of confidential Dutch audio data, we paused language reviews of the Assistant to investigate. "[The ban] is meant to provisionally protect the rights of privacy of data subjects for the time being".
The leaked recordings were provided by a Google employee who exposed Google's operations with regard to customers' files that are now protected by the GDPR, which effectively replaced the 1998 Data Protection Act.
The HmbBfDI had opened an administrative proceeding to ban Google from carrying out an assessment of recordings from its home assistants through employees or third parties.
As a result, Google has suspended all Google Assistant audio reviews in Europe the company confirmed to CNBC. "This made it easy for us to find the people involved and confront them with the audio recordings", said the report. The company performs reviews for only around 0.2% of all audio clips, she added.
"Other providers of speech assistance systems, such as Apple or Amazon, are invited to also swiftly review the implementation of appropriate measures", Caspar's office said.