I’m a big fan of Google services but there are limits to what I’ll subject myself to in the name of convenience. That limit was definitely reached this week with the announcement of the Nest Cam home security camera. The camera itself isn’t anything to freak out about, but I really do not understand why anyone would take Google up on its Nest Aware offer that will record everything in your house and analyze it constantly.
“With Nest Aware, Google is also offering to record up to 30 days of video, with audio, to the cloud and do constant analysis of it,” The Guardian explains. “Nest states that it respects user’s privacy, and that it does not sell or share user data. Nest also says that it is run separately to Google and that Nest accounts are not cross-linked with Google accounts. However, Nest admits that when connected to Google’s ‘Works with Nest integration’ system, which allows other devices such as ceiling fans, washing machines and car sensors to integrate with Nest’s products, it does share personal information with Google. How much data, users can control.”
As someone who doesn’t mind Google knowing certain things about me, this is where I cash in my chips.
I don’t mind Google keeping track of things I search for online and serving me ads based on it. After all, I’m an extremely boring person with nothing really to hide. All the same, the idea of Google’s algos running analysis of my behavior every time I scratch my ass is something that I will never, ever consent to.
The good news is all these potentially creepy Nest Cam features are opt in, which means buying one doesn’t automatically open up your home life to Google’s prying eyes. I’ll be interested to see if any Nest Cam owners take Google up on their advice to record and analyse everything they do, because I most certainly will not.