Google’s New Nest Privacy “Promise” Has Some Concerned

As Google has diversified, it has expanded into the home with cameras, voice assistants and alarm systems designed to help make life a little bit easier.

The catch is that many people don’t trust big tech companies, or, really, anyone trying to sell camera-equipped smart displays inside the home.

So far, Nest has had a few incidents which have given buyers and potential buyers pause.

There was a string of digital break-ins where Nest cameras let strangers spy on babies over the internet.

There was also the news that the Nest Secure alarm system had a secret microphone picking up audio the entire time that no consumers knew about.

Google announced that it’s not only going to sell the device, but that it has decided to publicly take ownership for privacy as it moves forward.

In an interview with Google Nest leader Richi Chandra, it was noted that Google has created a set of plain-English privacy commitments.

The commitments basically say that the Google will explain: how the sensors work, the technical specifications for all audio, video, environmental and activity sensors, how video, audio and home sensor readings are used, how to control and manage data, and so on.

In the privacy terms, Google notes that “We’ll explain how you can control and manage your data, such as providing you with the ability to access, review, and delete audio and video stored with your Google Account at any time.”

However, the file also points out some unexpected features of the new privacy measures.

For example, owners now won’t be able to turn off the recording light on the Nest camera anymore.

Google’s takeaway message was: “Your home is a special place… You want to trust the things you bring into your home. And we’re committed to earning that trust.”

Eric Silver

Eric Silver

Eric Silver is a veteran technology blogger and startup enthusiast that's been covering the global technology scene since the most advanced phones were still folding in half.