Buyer Beware: Used Google Nest cams can let people spy on you

Rachel Cericola for Wirecutter:

We’ve explained before that when you’re selling or giving away your old smart-home devices, it’s critical to do a factory reset on them first in order to protect your data and privacy. We’ve recently learned, however, that even performing a factory reset may not be enough to protect privacy for owners of the popular Nest Cam Indoor. And in a twist, this time the risk is on the side of the person receiving the device, not the person disposing of it.

A member of the Facebook Wink Users Group discovered that after selling his Nest cam, he was still able to access images from his old camera—except it wasn’t a feed of his property. Instead, he was tapping into the feed of the new owner, via his Wink account. As the original owner, he had connected the Nest Cam to his Wink smart-home hub, and somehow, even after he reset it, the connection continued.

We decided to test this ourselves and found that, as it happened for the person on Facebook, images from our decommissioned Nest Cam Indoor were still viewable via a previously linked Wink hub account—although instead of a video stream, it was a series of still images snapped every several seconds.

MacDailyNews Take: Don’t settle for inferior wares.

Nest devices are last IoT devices you want. You want quality HomeKit-compatible IoT devices.


  1. MDN: Then Apple should make some, or the should buy Ring. I don’t know why Apple is sitting back and letting Google/Ring/Amazon win the smart home wars without even firing a single shot.

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