Google Nest Hub
If you like the idea of a smart video hub that lets you display your photos, watch YouTube, listen to podcasts, and control you lights with your voice, but you don't want a video camera watching you all the time, this is the gadget for you. Unlike Google's more expensive Nest Hub Max, the Nest Hub has no built-in camera to watch you. So it's perfect for your bedside table. Which is where Google hopes you'll put it so it can do some sleep sensing, a feature Google added that uses motion and sound to monitor your sleep. Wake up every morning and it'll tell you if you slept, when you slept, and how your slept. And it's got three built-in microphones, so maybe switch those and the sleep sensing off when your friend with benefits comes for a visit. Google doesn't need to track every aspect of your life!
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). That said, you should be aware they are a huge ad company that needs your data to sell ads. Google promises that your voice recordings won’t be used to send you personalized ads, but they admit transcripts of your voice interactions with your Google Nest Hub 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. Yup, the ads are everywhere.
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, like the sleep sensing data this device collects, in their Safety Center. They claim that sleeps sensing data is not used for ad personalization, which is good. Google does collect a lot of other data on you though, 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. 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.
Tips to protect yourself
- Visit privacy controls to adjust the amount of data collected
- Delete your historical data from time to time
- Review Nest privacy tips
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number, address
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. Newest Google Nest Hub uses sleep sensing to track the sleep of the person closest to the display. It detects movement and breathing, as well as sounds like snoring and coughing, plus environmental factors like light and temperature in the room.
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
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