As sad as this might sound, privacy is an endangered concept nowadays. From Facebook to gadgets and smartphones, nothing is as safe as it might sound. For many companies, privacy policies seem to be unimportant.
Recently, we discovered a worrisome fact about Nest Secure, the Google device. This month we received an interesting announcement from Google. We found out that the Nest Guard hub also works as Google Assistant. While this might not sound like a problem at first, things become concerning when you start thinking about them, as Google never mentioned that the Nest Guard has a microphone.
The hidden microphone
Many users were shocked to discover that the Nest Secure had a microphone all along. If it helps you in any way, it appears that the microphone is not enabled by default. Google also released an official statement related to the mysterious Nest Secure microphone:
“The Google Assistant on Nest Guard is an opt-in feature, and as the feature becomes available to our users, they’ll receive an email with instructions on how to enable the feature and turn on the microphone in the Nest app. Nest Guard does have one on-device microphone that is not enabled by default,” explained Google.
Even though the microphone is not activated (supposedly), it is still very concerning to find out about it this way. Google called this “an error on our part”, and we can only agree with them. However, this might be more than a simple error.
There are many people who actively avoid microphone-enabled devices. While they can be very helpful, they come with numerous risks as well, and not everyone is willing to accept that. It is not okay to discover all of a sudden that a device comes with a microphone, and this is something that Google should have announced beforehand.
Nora Reynolds is a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior, writing about science in general. She also likes to try new gadgets and sports about the AI new era.