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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Fadell: Only 'opt-in' changes to Nest policies after Google takeover

Fadell: Only 'opt-in' changes to Nest policies after Google takeover
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MacNN Staff
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Jan 20, 2014, 01:50 PM
Nest chief executive Tony Fadell has downplayed data-privacy concerns that have been raised following confirmation of the company's acquisition by Google. Speaking at the DLD Conference in Munich, Fadell promised that any changes to the company's privacy policy would be made transparently and only on an opt-in basis.

"At this point, there are no changes," the executive said, as quoted by The Next Web. "The data that we collect is all about our products and improving them."

Credited with helping pioneer the iPod during his time at Apple, Fadell will effectively maintain his position as head of the Nest unit under Google ownership. The executive noted that various discussions with Google took months or years, suggesting the search giant took an early interest in Nest after it was founded in 2010 and brought its connected thermostat to the market in 2011.

"The amount of things that I learned from [Larry Page and other Google executives], personally, in the same meetings that they learned from me, personally…the two way interchange of what was for me intellectual happiness and the stimulation of being able to go back and forth, and really create a new world together--and in a different way than either of us had imagined--that was personally exciting to me," Fadell added.

Google agreed to pay $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, pending finalization of the takeover deal.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Jan 20, 2014 at 01:51 PM. )
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Jan 20, 2014, 02:01 PM
Did anyone really think Google would buy Nest, other than to stick internetted sensors in our homes, for its use?
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Jan 20, 2014, 02:49 PM
The last thing I want is a Google Powered Hardware device in my home.
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Jan 20, 2014, 02:50 PM
Tony can say what he wants but initial comments on the Nest forum talk about changes to the home.nest.com, the web interface to our Nest thermostats. The commented noticed a change when accessing the site. It first went to google adclicks web site then to the nest site. Because of this, Google knows who has a Nest thermostat and everything they can grab about their location and computer. Previously, this wasn't the case. Yes, Nest received seed money from Google's financial arm but that doesn't mean Google's advertising IT people had as much access to Nest's data as they do now. Tony says they still don't have access but it's only a matter of time. If this doesn't bother you, then fine but I can see Goggle getting to the point where they have more access to people's personal information than the NSA does. That should scare everyone.
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Jan 20, 2014, 02:55 PM
the current 'privacy' policy already would let google rummage through all the data, and pop up ads on the nest meter or in the app, all in the name of "improving service".
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Jan 20, 2014, 05:01 PM
"At this point..." Right. And Google wouldn't change anything. Totally trustworthy. Like Eric the Mole.

Funny how 3.2 billion dollars assuages one's sensibilities.
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Jan 20, 2014, 05:27 PM
Step 1: "There won't be any changes."

Step 2: "Any changes to the company's privacy policy would be made transparently and only on an opt-in basis."


Step 3: "In order to install this software update, you must read and agree to these new terms of service, including substantial changes to the privacy policy."

Step 4: "All new Nest products by default have the Google+ tracking option enabled in order to better provide you with relevant advertising and control of your Nest product. To read the privacy policy or opt out, please visit the website."

Step 5: "After a recent leak, a government investigation has determined that Google has been surreptitiously collecting and using data from the sensors in its Nest division for the past several years. Google claims that this data was used only in aggregate, and its collection and storage was an accident."

I mean, it's not like Google has ever done drive-by collection of vast amounts of private data, made huge changes to its privacy policies, or turned on invasive features as opt-out before. Oh, wait...

Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO: "Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it."
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Jan 21, 2014, 07:20 PM
There are many examples of Google acquiring and then interfering with products for their own ends.

One example is the excellent Quick Office Pro HD for iPad which they purchased and ruined by ripping out the ability to share your documents through DropBox, Box and others leaving the app functional ONLY if you use their services.

Google are interested only in Data Collection and Ad Placement.
I can't imagine Current Nest products being used for advertising so they can only be of interest to Google for their potential stream of data.

If Google can't maintain an acquisition as some sort of valuable Trojan Horse, Google will abandon it or lose interest like they did recently with RSS
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