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Google reportedly looking into Dropcam acquisition as foray into home surveillance

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
A report on Monday claims Google is mulling an entrance into the home security business with a buyout of Dropcam, a purchase that would expand the Internet search giant's in-home product placement beyond thermostats and smoke detectors.

Dropcam Pro


After a contentious $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Learning Thermostat maker Nest Labs, Google has supposedly set its sights on home security firm Dropcam, reports The Information.

If Google is serious about the deal, it may be the most controversial buy in the company's recent history as Dropcam's products are made for one purpose: automated home surveillance. With live or recorded video feeds mated to automated push notifications, users are able to remotely keep tabs on their home from any Internet-connected device. Data lives in the cloud, meaning it can theoretically be parlayed for other uses.

Critics are already wary of Google's policies toward collection of user information for its targeted ad business and the idea of tacking on live video feeds of users' homes may not sit well with some. With mounting pressure from privacy advocates, it is highly unlikely that Google would knowingly harvest data from Dropcam's cameras if a deal goes through, though the company could potentially find a way to anonymize and collect data on other metrics like device deployment trends.

Most recently, Google caused a flap when it was discovered in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it might one day serve ads car dashboards, thermostats, glasses and watches, "just to name a few possibilities." The company later said the SEC document was incorrectly worded and told media outlets it has no plans to follow through with such activities in the near future.

For its part, Nest Labs -- which Google previously said would be allowed to run as a relatively separate entity -- responded that it too has no plans to integrate ad-serving utilities or customer data collection tools into its products. Of course this policy could one day change.

Coincidentally, Dropcam was also in the news last week after former iPod product lead Andy Hodge was hired on as VP of Hardware and Strategy.
post #2 of 37
Sure. They're gonna surveil your house to determine which ads to send you.
Thanks but no thanks.
post #3 of 37
Oh great. How long until Googs make live-streaming an opt-out.
post #4 of 37
I hope this report is wrong. I love much about Google but I don't trust them that much. I have several dropcam cameras with monitoring. I would hate to have to find a new service
post #5 of 37
They are just crazy if they think they could sell home/surveillance products. They must set up an entity so that know one knows it is them, maybe they will have a better chance then.
post #6 of 37

A creepy advertising company selling home surveillance products? Yeah, fucking perfect. 

Google certainly has some balls. Hopefully people are not fucking stupid. 

post #7 of 37
Does Google actually develop any of their own stuff or do they just buy everything?
post #8 of 37
You are having a romantic interlude with your wife and Google's video analyzer captures the action and sends a Viagra advertisement to your Nest thermostat. Isn't that nice!
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Does Google actually develop any of their own stuff or do they just buy everything?

Aren't they the most innovative company out there according to certain people?

I mean all talk and no actual products makes you incredibly innovative.

/s

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post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Does Google actually develop any of their own stuff or do they just buy everything?

Acquiring new technology is actually the norm in many industries these days.  Perfectly reasonable business model.  Of course, what isn't reasonable is a company that peddles people's privacy getting in the home surveillance business. That's the camel putting its nose in the tent. 

post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

You are having a romantic interlude with your wife and Google's video analyzer captures the action and sends a Viagra advertisement to your Nest thermostat. Isn't that nice!

...or worse:-

4.8" not enough? Try x-brand penis enlarger,

38.7 seconds? Let xyz pills prolong your love life,

Spouse playing around? Contact Joe's private detectives.

Taking "personalised" ads to a whole new level.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #12 of 37
I don't understand it really... web-cam technology is nothing special... why not just build their own under the Nest label? People want integration, not 15 different brands all fighting for space.

I just don't see the value in DropCam...
post #13 of 37
I'm glad this has come to my attention because I was planning on ordering some of their equipment this summer. That is definitely a NEGATIVE on that purchase plan. NO WAY do I trust Google not looking in on people. They already have with the satellite info and with the trick on tracking people anyway behind the lines of safety with Safari, this is just going to far. When did a single company with advertisements become more scary then NSA or CIA.

I don't like the future I'm seeing. Google needs it's limbs cut off. Start with the head.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyondYourFrontDoor View Post

I don't understand it really... web-cam technology is nothing special... why not just build their own under the Nest label? People want integration, not 15 different brands all fighting for space.

I just don't see the value in DropCam...

There is no plan of reason for Google's acquisitions. It's the total opposite to Apple's careful and strategic purchases.

Google has less then four years to come up with a different reason for existing before the patent behind their business expires. That may be a long time in one sense, but Google's scared as can be and grasping at anything they see... One of these days they may have a garage sale of all the cats and dogs they've over-paid for.
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #15 of 37
What could go wrong?
FEAR GOOGLE
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FEAR GOOGLE
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post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

A creepy advertising company selling home surveillance products? Yeah, fucking perfect. 

Google certainly has some balls. Hopefully people are not fucking stupid. 

Get real :-), you've been here long enough to know that a hell of a lot of people are amazingly stupid. Just read the posts and laugh. 

post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyondYourFrontDoor View Post

I don't understand it really... web-cam technology is nothing special... why not just build their own under the Nest label? People want integration, not 15 different brands all fighting for space.

I just don't see the value in DropCam...

There is no plan of reason for Google's acquisitions. It's the total opposite to Apple's careful and strategic purchases.

Google has less then four years to come up with a different reason for existing before the patent behind their business expires. That may be a long time in one sense, but Google's scared as can be and grasping at anything they see... One of these days they may have a garage sale of all the cats and dogs they've over-paid for.

Of course you are in on the inside at both Giggle and Apple and know all about their strategic purposes don't you /s.

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by djkikrome View Post

I'm glad this has come to my attention because I was planning on ordering some of their equipment this summer. That is definitely a NEGATIVE on that purchase plan. NO WAY do I trust Google not looking in on people. They already have with the satellite info and with the trick on tracking people anyway behind the lines of safety with Safari, this is just going to far. When did a single company with advertisements become more scary then NSA or CIA.

I don't like the future I'm seeing. Google needs it's limbs cut off. Start with the head.

Then you're in for some hard times .. If Google does't buy a promising Tech company, then Apple or Facebook or Yahoo or Microsoft or whoever else, will do. So I suppose you spend all of your money throwing out and replacing everything you ever buy because the manufacturer got snapped up by some other company that you hadn't expected. Go for it !

post #19 of 37
oh Lord!!

That headline is TERRIFYING!!
post #20 of 37
If this turns out to be true, I'm gonna be legit scared of Google, you guys.
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

There is no plan of reason for Google's acquisitions. It's the total opposite to Apple's careful and strategic purchases.

Google has less then four years to come up with a different reason for existing before the patent behind their business expires. That may be a long time in one sense, but Google's scared as can be and grasping at anything they see... One of these days they may have a garage sale of all the cats and dogs they've over-paid for.

Will the patent expire or will Google's exclusive use of the patent expire?
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Will the patent expire or will Google's exclusive use of the patent expire?

It's not Google's patent and their grant of "exclusive use" from the patent owner (Stanford) expired several years ago in 2011 AFAIK. The patent itself is slated to expire in 2016.
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post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Will the patent expire or will Google's exclusive use of the patent expire?

Answering my own question... According to information published in google's 2009 10K filing...

The first version of the PageRank technology was created while Larry and Sergey attended Stanford University, which owns a patent to PageRank. The PageRank patent expires in 2017. We hold a perpetual license to this patent. In October 2003, we extended our exclusivity period to this patent through 2011, at which point our license will become non-exclusive.

So, did Google extend the exclusivity period beyond 2011?

More research needs to be done!
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Answering my own question... According to information published in google's 2009 10K filing...

The first version of the PageRank technology was created while Larry and Sergey attended Stanford University, which owns a patent to PageRank. The PageRank patent expires in 2017. We hold a perpetual license to this patent. In October 2003, we extended our exclusivity period to this patent through 2011, at which point our license will become non-exclusive.

So, did Google extend the exclusivity period beyond 2011?

More research needs to be done!

Thanks! So it expires in 2017 and not 2016. In any event neither the expiring patent or a loss of exclusivity to it will have any effect whatsoever on Google's business IMO. For a really good discussion of how things currently stand you can have a read at SEObytheSea. The guy is really knowledgeable and very familiar with Google's search policies and methods.

http://www.seobythesea.com/2012/03/new-pagerank-same-as-old-pagerank/
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post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Does Google actually develop any of their own stuff or do they just buy everything?

FWIW supposed Dropcam sources are saying Apple is also interested in a possible purchase of their company.
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post #26 of 37
Big brother is watching.
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


FWIW supposed Dropcam sources are saying Apple is also interested in a possible purchase of their company.

 

Yeah, there's some stuff rumored now in the home automation arena for Apple as well. This fits right in.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/27/your_home_in_cupertino_apple_plots_home_automation_entry/

post #28 of 37
Another reason why my choice of never buying/using anything from Google is valid. Why would I want Google selling information about what I have or do in my home in my home to the highest bidder?

Google is doomed

Anti-google/facebook monitoring tools Ghostery and Adaware

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post

Another reason why my choice of never buying/using anything from Google is valid. Why would I want Google selling information about what I have or do in my home in my home to the highest bidder?

Google is doomed

Anti-google/facebook monitoring tools Ghostery and Adaware

No one would want that. That's why Google can be trusted to keep it as secure as Apple or Microsoft as their business is not aggregating and selling personal information. They offer ad placement and assist with directing "interested 1hmm.gif " web visitors to drop by some website. In fact they'd be doing immense harm to their own business if they sold what they know about you, a great reason to protect any personal data they have like the crown jewels.

The collecting and reselling of your data is done by the multitude of companies tracking your social site posts and blog visits and recording your interests, oft-times connecting to your real name, address and family dynamics. That could be as many as 50 or more trackers just here at AI.

You have Ghostery so you know exactly what's going on. The selling of your personal information isn't happening from Google. You want to warn your fellow AI members about companies collecting and selling your personal information? Tell 'em to watch out for companies like this one:
https://www.kissmetrics.com/features
and this one:
http://www.addthis.com/technology

'cause unlike Google they really do sell your data... and a lot of it.
Edited by Gatorguy - 5/27/14 at 8:53am
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post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


No one would want that. That's why Google can be trusted to keep it as secure as Apple or Microsoft as their business is not aggregating and selling personal information. They offer ad placement and assist with directing "interested 1hmm.gif " web visitors to drop by some website. In fact they'd be doing immense harm to their own business if they sold what they know about you, a great reason to protect any personal data they have like the crown jewels.

The collecting and reselling of your data is done by the multitude of companies tracking your social site posts and blog visits and recording your interests, oft-times connecting to your real name, address and family dynamics. That could be as many as 50 or more trackers just here at AI.

You have Ghostery so you know exactly what's going on. The selling of your personal information isn't happening from Google. You want to warn your fellow AI members about companies collecting and selling your personal information? Tell 'em to watch out for companies like this one:
https://www.kissmetrics.com/features
and this one:
http://www.addthis.com/technology

'cause unlike Google they really do sell your data... and a lot of it.

 

Good explanation. Not that it will matter (see below in a couple hours).

post #31 of 37

looked at Dropcam as a potential baby monitor but balked because I really want total control of where my data resides.   Dropcam's back end is really nice.  The ability to skim through video feeds and see changes is really cool. Their website does a great job demoing the power.  I know I'll eventually need about 4-5 cameras and currently their pricing for this amount of cams and good monitoring is more than I want to spend. 

He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


...or worse:-

4.8" not enough? Try x-brand penis enlarger,

38.7 seconds? Let xyz pills prolong your love life,

Spouse playing around? Contact Joe's private detectives.

Taking "personalised" ads to a whole new level.

Or you are single and Google's facial recognition system suggests:

 

* Your old girlfriend was much better looking. Why are you moving down in the world. Company XYZ can help. 

 

* You invite some of the guys over to watch the game and an advertisement suggesting you all go to the local gay bar because they are having a special.

 

* Your neighbor and their kids come over and Google posts an advertisement from "Pedophiles Anonymous"

 

Yup. Only good can happen when Google invades your home.

post #33 of 37

I recently bought home security cameras and my prior research showed that Dropcam was very easy to use but outrageously expensive given the $10/month per camera subscription required to see any recorded video. Live video is free but useless if you are robbed when you need to see recordings.

 

I ended up using Logitech Alert cameras that have no monthly fee and gives you access to recorded video. I save all recorded video to Google Drive ($2/mo total for 100GB) so I can view recordings from anywhere. With six cameras the cost using Logitech plus Google Drive costs me $24/year. Six cameras with Dropcam cost $720/year.

 

It's likely cheaper to be robbed than to own a Dropcam.


Edited by jd_in_sb - 5/27/14 at 2:23pm

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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post #34 of 37
Colossus demands 24x7 video surveillance.

Oops, did I say Colossus? I meant Google.

---

Colossus: In time you will come to regard me not only with respect and awe, but with love.
Dr. Forbin: NEVER!
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


No one would want that. That's why Google can be trusted to keep it as secure as Apple or Microsoft as their business is not aggregating and selling personal information. They offer ad placement and assist with directing "interested 1hmm.gif " web visitors to drop by some website. In fact they'd be doing immense harm to their own business if they sold what they know about you, a great reason to protect any personal data they have like the crown jewels.

The collecting and reselling of your data is done by the multitude of companies tracking your social site posts and blog visits and recording your interests, oft-times connecting to your real name, address and family dynamics. That could be as many as 50 or more trackers just here at AI.

You have Ghostery so you know exactly what's going on. The selling of your personal information isn't happening from Google. You want to warn your fellow AI members about companies collecting and selling your personal information? Tell 'em to watch out for companies like this one:
https://www.kissmetrics.com/features
and this one:
http://www.addthis.com/technology

'cause unlike Google they really do sell your data... and a lot of it.

 

Let's be totally clear about what Google does and doesn't do. Google doesn't sell anything but ad placements and they charge advertisers very well because Google knows so much about the people (you and me) the ads will be targeted to. Google never sells the actual data on you and me to advertisers because by keeping their database secret from the advertisers Google can sell access to the same group of potential customers to the same advertisers over and over and over.

 

The better the data on you and me, the more Google can charge, so while they never expose our data, or "sell" it directly, the term "selling my data" is an accurate but easy to misunderstand phrase. In addition, I cannot envision a situation where Google would actually sell their database to anyone. This does not mean that the data on you and me is safe or never would be sold as Google retains the right to use what they know in any way they see profitable to do so, AND they retain the right to change their terms and conditions at any time and apply it to data retroactively collected.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post
 

Of course you are in on the inside at both Giggle and Apple and know all about their strategic purposes don't you /s.

...and you know I don't but I can read the news and make up my own assumptions about what I learn. When commenting on a rumor every post incorporates some facts with opinion...just as your post so well demonstrates.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post
 

 

Let's be totally clear about what Google does and doesn't do. Google doesn't sell anything but ad placements

 

In the interest of total clarity on what they do and don't do... it's not just ad placements being sold. On top of the consumer products Google sells (Nexus, Chromcast, etc.), they have a large enterprise presence, offering maps, apps, search, cloud, and chrome. 

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