Google Nest Cams
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 intelligent alerts 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 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?
Google seems to do a better job than some of the other Big Tech companies when it comes to security and privacy. That said, you should be aware they are a huge ad company that needs your data to sell ads. So while they say video and audio recordings won't be used to target you with ads, transcripts of your voice interactions may. Google uses your personal information to show you ads all over the place like in your Gmail, in your favorite Solitaire app, on partner websites, and on YouTube.
We do like that users are now automatically opted out of Google's human review of voice recordings, because that was super creepy. We also like that Google does try to communicate with users how they collect and use data in their Safety Center. Google does collect a lot of data on you, especially if you don't take the time to adjust your privacy settings to lock down just how much info they can gather. You should absolutely take the time to adjust these privacy settings. Just beware, you will get notifications that some things might not work right if you change settings. That’s annoying, and probably worth it for a little more privacy.
What’s the worst that could happen? Well, we suppose 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 are 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.
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number, address
Voice recordings, face (Nest Cam IQ only)
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In August 2019, the company admitted that partners who work to analyze voice snippets from the Assistant leaked the voice snippets of some Dutch users. More than 1,000 private conversations were sent to a Belgian news outlet, some of the messages reportedly revealed sensitive information such as medical conditions and customer addresses. In December 2018, a bug exposed the data of 52.5 million Google+ users
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Google provides a page with privacy information about Nest.
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.
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
Google uses natural language processing to understand you and to generate answers to your requests.
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
Got a comment? Let us hear it.