Just kidding, says Nest, we are totally sharing your data with Google

“Fish gotta fly. Birds gotta swim. Google has to buy smaller companies and change their products’ privacy policies so they can now share data with Google,” Susie Ochs reports for TechHive. “It’s just the natural order of things, and now it’s happening with Nest.”

“Nest co-founder Matt Rogers posted to Nest’s official blog late Monday night to announce the company’s Nest Developer Program, a set of developer tools that will allow other products to securely integrate with Nest,” Ochs reports. “What Rogers didn’t say in his post, but did tell the Wall Street Journal, is that Google is connecting its apps to the Nest as part of that program. That will let you control your Nest with voice commands, or let Google Now take the reins since it can tell from your movements when you’re heading home.”

“Rogers did assure the Journal that users will have to opt in to this data sharing, and claimed, ‘We’re not becoming part of the greater Google machine,'” Ochs reports. “That statement is downright laughable: Your company was bought by Google for $3.2 billion, you’re now sharing with Google, and that makes you part of the greater Google machine. (Also your bosses probably don’t consider ‘Google machine’ to be the preferred nomenclature.)”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Shocking (as dryly as we can type).

You don’t want a Nest thermostat. You want a Lyric smart thermostat from Apple HomeKit partner Honeywell.

Related articles:
With HomeKit and Honeywell’s Lyric, a Nest acquisition by Apple would have been foolish – June 18, 2014
Will Apple’s Internet of Things vision hurt a beautiful idea? With HomeKit, Apple promises easy home automation – June 6, 2014
Smart thermostat war heats up as Apple-partner Honeywell takes aim at Google’s Nest – June 13, 2014
Honeywell takes dead aim at Google’s Nest with new iPhone-compatible Lyric smart thermostat – June 10, 2014
Dead to me: Apple’s Schiller ‘unfollows’ Tony Fadell and Nest after Google acquisition – January 18, 2014

34 Comments

  1. Guess its all the more reason to switch to a Honeywell Lyric or similar model from them… What Google would ever do with thermostat data… guess there is always something..

  2. Saw this coming and that’s why I did not purchase the Nest Protect. I did not want Google to have the ability to know when I’m home and which room I’m in. Who knows what other information they can gather being connected to you home WiFi. I’m sure Google is willing to share that information with the NSA, DHSand whoever else freely.

  3. Perfectly obvious this would happen and that they are lying when they said it wouldn’t. There would be no reason for Google to buy Nest otherwise.
    Why anyone would pay money for Google to gets ben more of their personal details and sell them is beyond me.

  4. There’s a little bit of an over-reaction here. One is that this is entirely opt-in. It’s enabling things like IFTTT and opens the door to entirely new features and functionality. If you don’t like the data being shared, you don’t have to opt-in.

    Meanwhile Nest thermostats work autonomously without having to connect at all to any server (again optional). You can control them without a network, or firewall them inside your home network with not data going outside. Furthermore, they’re still controllable (again optional) remotely via VPN.

    Nest is a great product, we’ve been using them in our houses for a while now and couldn’t be happier. Honeywell was just too late to the game.

    It’s worth noting that if you’re really concerned with privacy and do plan on taking part in the Internet of Things, it’s not that hard to learn how to firewall your network to prevent all of these devices from sending data you don’t want to be shared as well as setting up a VPN so you can easily access things remotely.

      1. I see there are a lot of silly ignorant fanboys here who have no idea how Nest works and just want to spout off.

        You’re all missing the point that Google, nor anyone one else can access your Nest or data from it unless you first connect it to the internet (optional) and secondly don’t block access via a firewall (again optional).

        1. Your mistake was thinking this was a place for discussion, rather than an echo-chamber. You should read the commentary on the politically slanted articles… 😆

        2. But the opt-in is all-or-nothing. It would be possible to build a system that allows you to get network-enabled features without giving the service provider carte blanche to do whatever they want with the information that gives them. If you decide to opt-in to actually get some USEFUL network features from Google, you also have to take all the garbage that comes with that. If you opt-in to network features when you are the paying customer (rather than the product Google sells to advertisers), it is much more likely the company won’t do shady things with your private information.

          1. “But the opt-in is all-or-nothing.”

            No, it’s not.

            “If you decide to opt-in to actually get some USEFUL network features from Google, you also have to take all the garbage that comes with that.”

            No.

            I seem to be repeating myself here, but people still aren’t getting it.

            Go to http://nest.com

            Take a look at the Nest thermostat and smoke detector. All of the advertised features on both of those devices can be used without opting-in to anything Google. That includes the learning and the remote access. This is both from a policy perspective and from a technical limitation if you firewall your devices.

            What has been announced is a new developer program which adds additional functionality with things like iFTTT and geofencing. However, from a practical perspective, those things can’t possibly work unless you’re willing to opt-in to have data shared to some server.

            If you don’t want to opt-in then you don’t have to, and you can continue to use every single advertised feature of Nest to date. If you don’t believe that, then firewall and you can still continue to use every single advertised feature of Nest to date without any data being possible to be obtained.

            If you want to maintain privacy and security, you should be firewalling anyway if you’re going to be setting up a smart home regardless of Google.

    1. You’re right. It is completely optional to make it a *useful* smart thermostat. If you chose that option, though, you are giving it all to Google.

      If you don’t want a useful smart thermostat, why buy a smart thermostat at all? I have an old one from the ’50s that still works great for you.

      1. Nest is the most useful smart thermostat on the market in the US today. Everything it’s advertised as being able to do can be done without sharing data with Google, both as their policy and from a technical perspective.

        Your WiFi router should have a firewall. Enable it. If you’re at all concerned with privacy in the Internet of Things, you’re going to need to do that anyway.

        You’re then able to use the Nest locally exactly as advertised. If you want to access it outside of your home, just VPN into your network.

        At that point, you have full features and functionality of the Nest as advertised without any technical ability for Google or anyone else to invade your privacy.

        Google is announcing new features and functionality to the Nest that did not exist prior to the acquisition. This will require punching holes in your Firewall *IF* you want those new features and functionality.

        Those features and added functionality require data to be sent to a server, so no company can offer this without that data being sent out. So if you trust IFTTT then enable it, it doesn’t matter if it’s Nest or Lyric.

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