Google Nest Mini
"Hey Google!" will become your new favorite greeting. Hey Google, turn on the lights. Hey Google, play Bohemian Rhapsody. Hey Google, what are the symptoms of toe fungus? Hey Google, are you still listening to me? With three built in microphones, it just could be. This little smart speaker (smart microphone?) is fun and useful...and maybe just a bit creepy?
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 transcript of your voice interactions with your Google smart speaker 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 in their Safety Center. 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. 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. You can do this by saying, “Hey Google, delete this week’s activity.” or "Hey Google, that wasn't for you" to delete the last thing you said.
- Visit privacy & security 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.
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.