Google Nest Audio
Review date: 11/02/2020
Want a smart speaker that sounds better than the usual little hockey puck-shaped smart speakers? Have a $100 to spare? Google's new Nest Audio is a book-sized smart speaker with woofer, tweeter, and tuning software built-in. It comes with more volume and bass the old Google Home. Best of all, you can say, "Hey Google, delete what I just said," and Google will actually delete that voice recording it collected on you. That's music to our ears.
What could happen if something goes wrong
Google seems to do a better job than some of the other Big Tech companies when it comes to privacy (looking at you Facebook). We like that users are now automatically opted out of Google's human review of voice recordings. However, Google does collect a ton of data on you, especially if you don't take the time to adjust your privacy setting to lock down just how much info they can gather. We recognize it is time consuming to have to go in and adjust setting in apps and on your phone and on your computer to protect your privacy. If you don't take the time, it's possible Google can get to know you really well, maybe too well. Maybe they recognize you from all the times you ordered plain cheese pizza. They know you are single because who orders plain cheese pizza? Just kidding, they know you're single because of all those pedicure appointments you've booked for one. Maybe it's OK Google knows you so well. Maybe it's creepy.
Can it snoop on me?
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
What data does it collect?
Name, email, phone number
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record for protecting users’ data?
In 2018, personal information was exposed in several incidents, resulting from access by app developers, exposure by mobile apps, or a bug in Google + API. Google has also stored location data without permission.
Can this product be used offline?
User friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Uses encryption in transit and at rest.
Google has a Security Rewards program, which means that anyone who finds a security issue and discloses it responsibly may get paid. https://www.google.com/about/appsecurity/programs-home/
All things Nest have been moved over to the Google Store. Google has a page detailing their privacy principles for Nest products.
Does the product use AI?
Does the AI use your personal data to make decisions about you?
Does the company allow users to see how the AI works?
Google publishes academic papers about its AI research (https://ai.google/) and makes several tools available via open source. https://ai.google/tools/