So you buy a new product, let’s say a security system for your new house like this one: Nest Secure. Brand new technology, internet connected product. You feel good, you feel secure. Then, suddenly, you learn that your product had a hidden microphone that is enabled with a new software update, from Google, the parent company owning Nest. Welcome to your new Google assistant enabled device! Boom. Wait, what?
How would you feel about all this? This is a security system sold by a company who is harvesting your life. If you knew about this hidden microphone waiting to be activated, would your decision be influenced by this? I bet so. It would for me. Now what? Well, as the company said, you can disable the microphone at will. Well, ok, fine. But what about transparency and credibility? How do we know there nothing more “hidden” in this product waiting to be activated?
Surprisinly, nobody found out this microphone before. Nest used to impress me with their innovative designs in areas where innovation stopped a long time ago (thermostat). But since they were aquired by Google, something is broken. And this story doesn’t help at all.