Google Nest Cams
Review date: 11/02/2020
Surveillance cameras are everywhere these days. If you want to jump on the bandwagon, Google's indoor and outdoor Nest Cams offers HD video, 24/7 recording, alert you when they detect motion, have multiple microphone for detecting loud noises, and the IQ cams can "tell a person from a thing" and then alert you so can yell at the person, not the thing. Which is either handy when it comes to chasing away the bad guys, or tons of fun when it comes to scaring the pants off that buddy who’s looking after your cat.
What could happen if something goes wrong
Nest is owned by Google, which means they have the full force of Google behind their security features, which is a good thing. It also has the full force of Google behind its privacy features and Google wants to learn as much about you as it can. So while video recordings, Voice recordings, and home environment sensor readings won't be used to target you with ads, transcripts of your voice interactions may. That's why it's always good to take time to lock down your privacy settings. Also, you could catch your neighbor dancing naked on cam in front of their window and then never be able to look at them the same ever again, making those neighborhood BBQs quite awkward. One more thing, Google's own device chief says homeowners should warn guests they near a microphone (or video camera) potentially recording them when they visit your home if you own a device like this. We think that is good advice.
Can it snoop on me?
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
What data does it collect?
Name, email, phone number
Voice recordings, face (Nest Cam IQ only)
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 it's AI research (https://ai.google/) and makes several tools available via open source.