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Following Google's acknowledgement that it made a mistake by failing to mention that its Nest Guard alarm hub includes a microphone, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has asked the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to force the ad biz to sell its Nest division and surrender data snarfed from Nest customers.
joined:June 15, 2001
joined:Nov 11, 2000
The two privacy advocates argue the FTC should have conducted a more rigorous review before allowing Google to acquire Nest and suggest the proper course is to break the two apart....
...Rotenberg and Bannan muse that it's unclear whether Google, hackers, or others may have activated the undisclosed mics to listen in on consumers.
No one has made such a claim, and it wouldn't be easy to active the mic since there's no public API for it. The same possibility exists for all the known mics in consumer environments, on phones and network-connected speakers, but perhaps a Nest Guard eavesdropping scenario is worth worrying about....
...Google claims that the mics were never used prior to disclosure, which would preclude the possibility of covert data collection.
Not sure if anyone noticed, but people don't seem to care about this.