Google's Purchase of Nest's Smart Thermostat Could Mean an Even More Intrusive Search Giant in Our Lives

#Future

Thu, Jan 16th, 2014 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

Although some are arguing that Google's recent purchase of Nest's smart thermostat is nothing more than business diversification in a world fast-approaching advertising saturation, others are worried that this will allow "the search giant will use the Internet-connected home device to gather more information about them.

[...] even anonymous data would give Google an invaluable glimpse into our daily lives.

And that information could potentially be paired with online movements, making the world’s most powerful search engine that much more powerful for its ability to ever-more-precisely target advertising.

Tweeted Ryan Block, vice president of product at AOL: “With Nest’s built-in sensors now Google knows when you’re home, what rooms you’re in, and when you’re out. Just FYI.”

Concern over privacy may not be the prevailing sentiment about Google’s deal to buy Nest Labs. But privacy advocates say consumers who are worried are not overreacting.

People should be wary of how much intelligence Google will be able to suck up and analyze once it completes the purchase of Nest Labs, said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.

“Consumers should insist Google start making their mortgage or rent payments, given all the data the company plans to sweep up from everyone’s homes,” Chester said. “A few billion is digital chump change for the key to unlock more of our personal information. By linking together our mobile, video, search, while driving, in-store and now at-home data, Google wants to become an invisible but all-seeing new member of the family.”

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