Google has acknowledged that one of its home alarm products contained a secret microphone. Product specifications for the Nest Guard, an all-in-one alarm, keypad and motion sensor, available since 2017, had made no mention of the listening
Nest Guard is an all-in-one alarm, keypad, and motion sensor but, despite being announced well over a year ago, the word microphone was only added to the product's specification this month.
But earlier this month, the firm said a software update would make Nest Guard voice-controlled. On Twitter, concerned Nest owners were told the microphone has not been used up to this point.
In response to criticism, Google claimed:
The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part. The microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option.
This is the kind of thing that makes me paranoid of smart home devices, commented Nick Heer , who writes the Pixel Envy blog.
If I owned one of these things and found out that the world's biggest advertising company hid a microphone in my home for a year, I'd be livid.