Google Nest Learning Thermostat
Review date: 11/02/2020
Learning is fun! Owning a thermostat that learns all about how warm and cool you like your house is maybe fun too? According to Google, use this thermostat for a week and it'll adapt to you. The app lets you control the temperature in your home from anywhere and sends alerts when things don't look quite right. Best of all, that learning can help save energy and money. The big question is, can it learn who’s side to pick when you like it hot and your partner likes it cold?
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. This thermostat doesn't have a built-in microphone though, so that's nice.
Can it snoop on me?
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
What data does it collect?
Name, email, phone number
How does it use this data?
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.