Posted in War on Privacy

Google in hot water after not revealing it had hidden a secret microphone in home alarm product

When you buy Google products, a major part of what you’re purchasing is unwelcome nasty surprises that greet you down the road.

As if some folks weren’t concerned enough about the infiltration of potentially privacy-busting devices into the home, Google has admitted it did not disclose that it hid a secret microphone inside one of its products.

Owners of the Nest Secure were surprised earlier this month to read an announcement from Google that it was adding a new voice control feature to its home alarm product:

“Starting today, we’re adding a feature to Nest Secure to do just that: the Google Assistant will be available on your Nest Guard, so you can ask it questions like, “Hey Google, do I need an umbrella today?” before you set your alarm and leave the house.* Nest Guard is the brains of your Nest Secure; it contains a keypad and all the smarts that power the system. It’s usually placed in a spot with lots of traffic (like the front doorway) making it useful as you come and go.”

This “announcement” is naturally coming as quite a shock to people who bought Nest Guard and didn’t fathom that there was a microphone inside of it. But it’s not surprising to us. Typical Google behavior.