In our digital age of constant connectivity, safety and privacy are becoming something of a luxury. To help Nest owners feel more at ease, Google has launched the new Safety Center. This was announced via a blog post on the Google website.
The new Safety Center hits on some of the key areas of concern with smart home devices
The constant threat of invasion of privacy is only getting worse as tech companies ship devices with different sensors and methods of recording data. The Safety Center is a move to retain trust among Nest users amid this. Having a home full of devices with all sorts of cameras and microphones does not come without some concern.
Tech specs and transparency declaration
Starting off, Google informs the users that it’s transparent about what recording components are involved in Nest devices. If there are any sort of cameras, microphones, or other sensors, Google will clearly indicate it to the customer. Google says that it will tell this to the customers, whether the sensors are active or not.
The company also states that it will tell the customer what kind of data that is sent to the company. Google says it will give examples of that data. So, if your data has to be sent to the company, you can know exactly what’s being sent off.
Cameras and microphones
Google says that it does send footage to the company, but only if some one explicitly enables a feature that needs to do that. One feature that does this is Nest Cam Monitor. If you don’t want any footage being sent to the company, check and see of you have that selected.
If the camera is being used for any reason, Google says that it will always be indicated by a visual cue. Typically, it’ll be an LED that’s on the device. If footage is stored on the device or cloud, you will have full access to it, and you will be able to delete it at any time.
Footage is shared with third party companies that Google works with. However, that footage is only shared if the user gives their permission to do so, Google states.
When it comes to microphones, the story is similar. Google says that it will only send audio back to the company if it detects that someone is interacting with the Assistant. It will also send audio back if there’s certain feature that needs the microphones.
Like with the camera, there will be a visual cue that will indicate when it is active. You have the option to turn the microphone off if you don’t want it on. You can also delete any stored audio that’s on your Google account.
Visit the new Safety Center page for more information on how Google promises to protect your digital safety.