Instead of applauding Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, more than just a few owners of the smart thermostat were in uproar over concerns that Google would now be able to collect data from inside our homes. As we argued, it’s hard to believe that providing Google with the temperature in your home has any real threat, but the company recently tried again to quell privacy concerns just in case.
Nest CEO Tony Fadell recently reiterated that Nest’s privacy settings won’t change in an interview during the Digital-Life-Design conference, as cited by 9to5Mac. “At this point, there are no changes,” he said. “The data that we collect is all about our products and improving them. If there were any changes whatsoever, we would be sure to be transparent about it, number one, and number two for you to opt-in to it.”
Surely those rules could change once Google has the reins. Still, Fadell seems to suggest that Google and himself have huge plans for the product, and hopefully future iterations, moving forward. “We were finishing each other’s sentences, and the visions that we had were just so large and so great, and they weren’t scared by them,” he said of meetings between the two companies before Google made its official offer.
Data collection is always important for quality assurance, and most consumer electronics do have opt-in options for sharing bug reports and other data with companies. Naturally, however, consumers are afraid of giving more detailed data to Google.