There is no day when citizens / consumers do not have news about the mendacity with which the companies of the “new economy” collect and process our data. Now it’s up to the almighty Google, who has been discovered by spying microphones on the homes of naïve users who relied on their Nest Guard security system to protect their homes.
The physical part of the Nest Guard system is a device that functions as a motion sensor, control panel and alarm (and was supposed to do nothing else).
Basically, the system aims to mount a controllable home surveillance service from the smartphone and with all its infrastructure in the cloud, including the Google Assistant service. In fact, it is already risky to entrust the security of our homes to a company in the cloud but with these companies there is always one more surprise. Actually, as always, two.
The first is that the devices sold by the Nest company, acquired a few years ago by Google in exchange for some three billion dollars, included a microphone and no one had been told, users of course not, the microphone was there and could be activated from the company, from the cloud, you know, those beings of light who never do anything wrong and never make mistakes.
The second is that Google’s reaction has been to acknowledge they have made a mistake. But it’s amazing that their spokesman explains (without dying of shame) the mistake has only been to put the microphone there and not tell the buyers of the device, they put it there in case someday they decided to include new features.
There are still many people who think that coming from Google this can not be bad and that they have nothing to hide. Some day they will be surprised to see how the price of that trip to Venice, which you have been talking about at home for several weeks, has suddenly increased, what a coincidence! or how they ask for a stratospheric price for a health policy a few days after having booked with Google Assistant an appointment for a biopsy in a clinical laboratory.
There are still many people who still think privacy is that companies want to know who you are. The reality is that the companies of the new economy do not care about who you are, a number, a profile; what really interests them is knowing what you need to buy and how much money you have to pay for it and, as you can see, they do not let up when it comes to collecting that information.