Should we trust Google with our smart homes?

“When Nest announced its acquisition of Dropcam, it reiterated that its privacy policy ensured that Dropcam data ‘won’t be shared with anyone (including Google) without a customer’s permission.’ But when we spoke with Gilad Meiri — the CEO of a Neura, a startup that seeks to connect you to all sorts of internet devices – in the wake of the $550 million deal, he predicted it was only a matter of time before Google started encouraging users to provide such data—something many people don’t think twice about,” Cade Metz reports for Wired. “And, indeed, in announcing its API program, Nest said that Google soon will offer tools that interact with Nest devices and ask users to share data. In August, for instance, the Google Now service will dovetail with the Nest thermostat to automatically change the temperature of your home when it knows you’re about to arrive.”

“Adi Kamdar, an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, warns against this kind of thing,” Metz reports. “‘This poses some clear privacy issues,’ he says. ‘When we start seeing a pressure to share information with Google, that it pressure to give them a lot more information about you than they already have and it’s a lot more information than you necessarily need to give them. Ultimately, what you’re buying as a security solution or an energy solution that could become a source of information for things like advertising.'”

“The threat is two-fold. First, because it controls such an enormous amount of data about the world’s people, Google becomes a ‘honey pot’ for the NSA and other entities that can go beyond retrieving information via subpoena and National Security Letter and actually hack into Google’s systems, as recent revelations from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have shown,” Metz reports. “And second, you can never be sure how Google will use your personal data. As Meiri points out, Google has already said, in a letter to SEC, that it plans on delivering ads to thermostats and other connected devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For those who hold their privacy dear, Apple will be the clear choice.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Why Apple really values your privacy – unlike Google, Facebook, or Amazon – June 25, 2014

30 Comments

  1. I have a Dropcam which I like, but I emailed them about my concerns after the announcement. They replied today:

    “If you wish to cancel your cloud recording subscription or return your cameras please let us know and we can provide advice.

    We sincerely appreciate your business.

    Best regards,”

    So it bye bye Dropcam ….. hello Closeli … saw these guys at Macworld 2014 http://www.simplicam.com/index.html

    1. I tried emailing the support link on this website to see if they had any plans to support Apple’s HomeKit and got a failed delivery notice from a Google server. Very odd if this is a real product site.

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