Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Google Nest Has a Microphone that Wasn’t Supposed to Be A Secret..

They just forgot to tell consumers about it being there since 2017
Google also claims "it was never on" so don’t you worry about that at all ;)



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Nest’s latest headache involves its modular Nest Secure security system. More specifically, a microphone that customers weren’t aware was included in the base device. And while Google admits it messed up, it’s definitely not convincing users the company has their best interest at heart.

Google, which owns Nest, announced earlier this month it was adding Google Assistant support for the Nest Guard—one of three products that make up its Nest Secure system. Overall, you’d think that’s a helpful feature but Google’s failure to disclose the Guard hub had a built-in microphone detracts from any benefit and has led to plenty of criticism of the company’s intent on Twitter.

When Nest Secure was announced back in 2017, the microphone was suspiciously absent from any tech specs for the product.

So have Nest Secure owners been unwittingly spied on all this time? Google says no. “The microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option.”
As for why the microphone was included in the first place, Google said it’s common for security systems to use microphones for features that rely on picking up different sounds. It also said the company “included the mic on the device so that [it] can potentially offer additional features to our users in the future, such as the ability to detect broken glass.”
The microphone was never on (claimed) but.. security systems use microphones for features that rely on picking up different sounds That seems highly suggestive that the microphone was on.

All of that makes sense, but it’s unsettling in the wake of Nest’s recent privacy and security issues. A California family recently received false warnings through their Nest camera that North Korean missiles were about to strike, while last year, a woman was told through her cam that a man was going to kidnap her baby.
A security system that terrorizes you? There's likely been a move like that, no?


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