Google Nest Video Doorbells
Door knockers are cool, but so old-fashioned. Door bells are neat, but so analog. Welcome to 24-hour surveillance on your doorstep. Calling these video doorbells from Google — there's a wired one and battery powered one — a doorbell is a bit misleading. They are HD-video, two-way audio, motion sensing, infrared night vision, 24/7 streaming devices that lets you see, hear, and speak to people at your door from your phone or computer. Get alerts to let you know when a package is delivered, an animal is creeping about, or if your annoying neighbor is at the door. These video doorbells even let your pre-recorded messages so you can tell that annoying neighbor you're not home, even if you are. You'll need an additional Nest Aware subscription for some features, including 10 days of 24/7 video history.
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.
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?
Encryption in transit and at rest.
Google has a Security Rewards program. Link: https://www.google.com/about/appsecurity/programs-home/
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.