Nest CEO Tony Fadell pledges that all privacy changes will be announced, opt-in only

Yesterday, in an interview at the Digital-Life-Design conference in Munich, Nest CEO Tony Fadell attempted to allay concerns over potential privacy issues related to Google’s recent $3.2 billion purchase of Nest.

Asked how Google, a company that thrives on data collection, might make use of information collected from Nest’s range of smart thermostat and alarm products, Fadell said that “at this point there are no changes . . . the data we collect is about our products and improving them.” If there are ever any changes, he continued, “we will be sure to be transparent about it and for you to opt into it. The data is to stay within Nest’s world of improving its products.”

Fadell’s response appears to hit all of the right notes, but the obvious concern is that, over time, the boundary between Nest and Google's world of products will become less clear.

The CEO’s description of both companies visions of the future also suggests that such privacy changes are not a matter of if, but when.

Describing the experience of meeting and working with Larry Page and his management team, Fadell said that “the visions that we had were so large and so great and they weren't scared by them. We were both getting exhilarated by what could change and how things could change." The CEOs are clearly not scared. Now, Fadell only has to convince everyone else.

See the source link for the full interview.

Source: DLD Conference via TNWimage via DLD Conference

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31 Comments

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This whole deal is all about the automated home. It's Google's foot in the door so to speak. And yes, once it is all said and done, the final result will be to serve you ads on all your automated household appliances. From the frig to your thermostat and beyond..
Think about how it will keep track of what you buy, offer up relevant ads and discounts for food and other products. And that's just the refrigerator.. The more things that get tied into the digital home the more opportunity they will have to offer up advertisements and such. While I can see it being useful in some situations like for a frig, We all know it never stops at what is just useful.. Before long, we will be waiting for a jingle to finish so we can flush the toilet. I can hear the Roto-Rooter jingle already.. "Call Roto-Rooter, that's the name, and away your troubles go down the drain." Flushhh...

Forbid somebody actually be concerned about their privacy and surrendering their data to Google. Those people are hateful and paranoid and need to be chastised for those concerns, especially when those concerns are well founded since Google has shown themselves to ignore your wishes when it comes to home internet devices.

It is called a discussion, you know, the reason comments are enabled in articles like this one so we can discuss? I offered my opinion, just as you did. But I find it ironic that Google wants all my data, and you defend their ability to collect that data, but when I willingly try to offer a little bit of data, you get upset by it.

Your sarcasm layed thick in your reply. Want to have a convo, ease off on sarcasm .

I dont post up or make public any info about myself that would do anyone any good. I don't care if it was Google, MS, Apple, or Jesus Christ himself who was hosting the data. And I dont really give a damn if they know I like rock music, or that I searched for a recipe for grilling chicken. I have more important things to think about

Complain about my sarcasm, while your response is dripping with it.

The problem with Google is that they have a history of not respecting your privacy and taking what they want without your permission. They were driving around peeking into routers, at first they claimed that they were not doing it, then changed the story to say that they were only collecting simple things, and finally admitted that they were collecting everything they could because of some errant code. If I write code that harvests all the data I can, send it back to my servers for storage, and then use that data, it isn't a bug, that is collecting my data without my permission.

Nest will now be sitting in a home, given permission to be on the network and able to listen to data at will. That seems to be too irresistible for Google not to act on.

Just because you don't mind if Google gets that data, it does not mean that everyone feels the same. As I wrote a few days ago, I now have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. It is interesting how much they know about me already when all I have done is download one album, the GF played Candy Crush, and I uploaded the app my company is working on and I know it does not send any data to Google.

WhatTheSchmidt said,
Nest will now be sitting in a home, given permission to be on the network and able to listen to data at will. That seems to be too irresistible for Google not to act on.

Yea, this is the paranoia I was talking about. Enough said.

Have a good evening.

techbeck said,

Yea, this is the paranoia I was talking about. Enough said.

Have a good evening.

Selective paranoia.

You'll notice that they don't say much about a camera attached to a gaming console in their home, connected to the network, and listening.

benthebear said,
You'll notice that they don't say much about a camera attached to a gaming console in their home, connected to the network, and listening.

Of course not. That was forgotten about.

I dont care about that either. If anyone over at MS HQ wants to see me get dressed in the morning or walk around in my underwear...well, those are brave men and I salute them.

benthebear said,

Selective paranoia.

You'll notice that they don't say much about a camera attached to a gaming console in their home, connected to the network, and listening.

Right, because nobody said anything negative about Kinect. But here you are, complaining about Kinect, ignoring Google when they have been proven to invade your privacy by going to your house, and right after benbeck is complaining about me "harassing" him, and complaining about sarcasm. Just more of the ok for me, but not the attitude from benbeck.

benthebear said,

Selective paranoia.

You'll notice that they don't say much about a camera attached to a gaming console in their home, connected to the network, and listening.

BTW, both you and benbeck complain over and over about how I change the subject away from the topic when I make a comparison, and yet here you are talking about Kinect, a video game console peripheral unrelated to thermostats. Once again showing how you don't practice what you preach.

Be prepared to receive in your GMail inbox mail reading "Your house appears to be a bit warm, here are a list of businesses that sell air conditioners"

WhatTheSchmidt said,
Be prepared to receive in your GMail inbox mail reading "Your house appears to be a bit warm, here are a list of businesses that sell air conditioners"

Your house spends more than the average house of size in the winter. Here is a company that sells better windows to reduce heating costs.

Meaningless when simply clicking "I Accept" on an installer or the login page of a web interface is enough to opt you in.

I swear, I'm gonna read some hate comments on here just because Google's now involved. Can't we just think of the potential advancements of the products for once?

Mr.XXIV said,
I swear, I'm gonna read some hate comments on here just because Google's now involved. Can't we just think of the potential advancements of the products for once?

I can see Google killing off the nest thermostat in the future and say they only wanted the backend systems and developers....

Mr.XXIV said,
just because Google's now involved.

You say that like it's a negligible factor.

Austin McIntire said,
privacy changes are not a matter of if, but when.

Absolutely.

Mr.XXIV said,
I swear, I'm gonna read some hate comments on here just because Google's now involved. Can't we just think of the potential advancements of the products for once?

The problem now is that those improvements will involve feeding more data into Google's vaults.

neufuse said,

I can see Google killing off the nest thermostat in the future and say they only wanted the backend systems and developers....

Pretty much my thoughts when I read the title. Google does have an habit of closing services and products down that it gobbles up.

It's might be a cold winter for nest users.

Oh my gosh! They're going to know what temperature we keep the house at! TERRORISM!

Chill out. What exactly do you expect google to learn from your thermostat? When your house is cold do you expect they'll serve you more ads for furnaces/heating appliances?

I see this as being great deal for Nest. The money that Google can funnel into it is amazing, and I forsee great strides in home automation (not that you can't already turn on your dishwasher from your cell phone, but still)

If you don't want google to mine your data, use fake data.

rr_dRock said,
Chill out. What exactly do you expect google to learn from your thermostat? When your house is cold do you expect they'll serve you more ads for furnaces/heating appliances?

Exactly when you are home or when you are not home…

Nest is a learning thermostat, it learns to adjust the temperature when you need it.

Rosyna said,

Exactly when you are home or when you are not home…
.

It's amazing you had to say it. It seemed so obvious.

Google will have access to data to know when to serve you even more specific ads. Take aways, movies, childrens toys, bed time books, whatever, things people do at night, they'll be able to time it,

Ugghh, one less reason to use Google products.

Mr.XXIV said,
I swear, I'm gonna read some hate comments on here just because Google's now involved. Can't we just think of the potential advancements of the products for once?

I love my nest but only advancement would involve google knowing my life routine than when I am gonna be home or when I am away using geolocation stuff. I prefer to not have that advancement rather google know when I am going to **** when I am home. you see I like technology, even now I have no problem nest having all these information but problem with google is they just have too much information from you. Think about it. you emails.... your friends.... your photos and now your life routines and home temperature. doesn't it freak you out?

jakem1 said,
Complete BS. Give it a year or two and all these promises will be quietly dropped.

exactly what I was going to say. In due time, Google will get its hands on that data.

Cyborg_X said,
BS.

Of Course it is they paid $3B for nothing then? They want to know your house's temperature. scary part is nest thermostat (which I use it and pretty cool) has other sensors that knows when you're home or when your away. so if you put all these information together it can tell when you're home and what is you life routine. I am not privacy freak but considering how much google paid for it I am freaked out now. I might even just sell my nest if it **** hit the fans