Google Nest Protect
Is there anything worse than the random chirp of a smoke alarm? You can't tell which alarm is chirping. You don't know if it’s smoke or a low battery. It’s so frustrating. Maybe there’s a better option? This smoke and carbon monoxide detector tells you what it’s sensing and in which room. It even alerts you in a friendly human voice, rather than that anxiety-inducing chirp. It tests itself so you don't have to remember to. Best of all, you can silence that obnoxious alarm right from your phone! No need to haul that ladder around the house at 3am.
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 may. So, while this smart smoke detector doesn't have a microphone built in (yay!), when you control it with a smart speaker like the Google Nest Mini, those voice transcripts could be used to target you ads. 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.
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?
All things Nest have been moved over to the Google Store. Google has a page detailing their privacy principles for Nest products.
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Uses encryption in transit and at rest.
Google publishes academic papers about it's AI research (https://ai.google/) and makes several tools available via open source.
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?
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