Google's double take: Nest Secure secret microphone "not supposed to be a secret"
If you are interested smart home topics, you probably heard at the beginning of the month that Google Assistant is coming to Nest Secure. The problem is that this device was not supposed to have a microphone. Google has let the cat out of the bag.
Nest may have been founded by former Apple employees, but the parent company is Google. That's still a lot of high-profile industry experience any way you slice it, but it doesn't prevent some missteps. After announcing the upcoming arrival of Google Assistant on Nest Secure, a connected alarm system, one thing stood out: Google Assistant needs a screen or a microphone, but Nest Secure had neither.
Google explained itself on the subject: the first news is that Nest Secure has a microphone, it was not listed in the spec sheet but it is indeed present and is disabled by default. The second news is that Google admits to having made a mistake so at least you have to give it credit because not everyone does the same (remember when OnePlus said that their screen mounted upside down is completely normal). This does not excuse the fault, which is most likely a major communication problem, but has resulted in people buying a security device with more surveillance capabilities than they realized.
To err is human, as the old proverb goes, but more and more people than ever are suspicious of big tech's tendencies to surreptitiously gather data on as many people as possible, without being very upfront about it.