Google Home this product meets our minimum security standards
Google $49 - $349

Google Home

Review Date 10/23/19

"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? From the Mini to the Max, these smart speakers (smart microphones?) are fun and useful...and maybe just a bit creepy? Tell us on the Creep-O-Meter below!

Minimum Security Standards

         

Five basic steps every company should take to protect consumer privacy. Learn more.

Encryption
Yes
Uses encryption in transit and at rest.
Security updates
Yes
Does it get regular software/firmware updates?
Strong password
Yes
Do you have to create a strong password?
Manages vulnerabilities
Yes
Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?
Privacy policy
Yes
Does it have a privacy policy?

Can it snoop on me?

Camera
Device: No | App: Yes
Microphone
Device: Yes | App: Yes
Tracks Location
Device: No | App: Yes

How does it handle privacy?

How does it share data?
Google (and its partner websites and apps) may target you with ads based on your searches, location, websites and apps you’ve used, videos and ads you’ve seen, age range, gender, etc. Google says that your personal data is never sold to third parties.
Can you delete your data?
Yes
Parental controls?
Yes
Collects biometrics data?
Yes
Google collects and may review voice data from interactions with the Google Home.
User friendly privacy info?
Yes
Google has several privacy pages explaining its approach to privacy in simple language. It has Google Home-specific privacy information in one central location.
😮

What could happen if something went wrong

Google gets to know you really well, maybe too well. They know you have a mouse problem because you keep asking for ways to get rid of mice. They recognize your voice 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. It's all fun and games until those weirdly specific targeted political ads start tracking you all around the internet.

How to contact the company

Updates

Alexa and Google Home abused to eavesdrop and phish passwords
Ars Technica
By now, the privacy threats posed by Amazon Alexa and Google Home are common knowledge. Workers for both companies routinely listen to audio of users—recordings of which can be kept forever—and the sounds the devices capture can be used in criminal trials. Now, there's a new concern: malicious apps developed by third parties and hosted by Amazon or Google.
With a Laser, Researchers Say They Can Hack Alexa, Google Home or Siri
NY Times
Since voice-controlled digital assistants were introduced a few years ago, security experts have fretted that systems like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa were a privacy threat and could be easily hacked. But the risk presented by a cleverly pointed light was probably not on anyone’s radar.
Google collects face data now. Here's what it means and how to opt out
CNET
Google's latest smart display brings with it a controversial new feature that's always watching. Face Match, introduced on the Google Nest Hub Max, uses the smart display's front-facing camera as a security feature and a way to participate in video calls. It also shows you your photos, texts, calendar details and so on when it recognizes your face. This mode of facial recognition sounds simple enough at first. But the way companies like Google collect, store and process face data has become a top concern for privacy-minded consumers.
Google exec says Nest owners should probably warn their guests that their conversations are being recorded
Business Insider
Google devices chief Rick Osterloh said he believes anyone "in proximity" of a microphone-fitted smart device like Google Nest or Amazon Echo should be informed the devices are in use.

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