The Nest Secure has a hidden microphone, and Google didn't tell owners for 18 months

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 62
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 238member
    dws-2 said:
    Google has never been caught spying, unlike Facebook. Google does spy of course, but they so far have always been very clear and open on what information they collect. This is very, very different than Facebook, which either lies or obfuscates about how they collect and use information.
    That's not quite true.
    They were found guilty of spying in Europe when their camera cars went around collecting random WiFi data.  Google, after being caught and convicted claimed they didn't know that they did it -- even though they refused to delete the data from their servers.

    That sounds like NSA type spying to me -- just collect everything you can get your hands on.
    Point taken. Maybe I'm being naive, but as someone who writes code and works in big organizations, I just don't see anything that seems nefarious. Most of the hardware I've worked on had extra sensors on them that were never used nor disclosed, in part because it's easier to just use a standard part that has a bunch of stuff onboard. A microphone is different, but it doesn't surprise me because it seems like it would be logical to include for future security uses like glass breaking sensors or at home sensors (at home sensors are on most of the other Nest stuff).

    I'm not arguing that Google should not have disclosed the microphone. I think it shows a sort of hubris to hide what could be important information. However, I still would be willing to bet an insane amount of money that they never activated the microphone. There's no reason at all that they'd secretly use it to collect information, then later tell everyone about having a microphone. If they really wanted to listen, they could have just announced that it had a microphone to be used for detecting intruders, then just collected the information they wanted. A secret microphone just makes no sense from any direction.
    GeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 42 of 62
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,498unconfirmed, member
    Google is spying on their users?!!?! YA DONT SAYY!!!
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 62
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,095member
    dws-2 said:
    Google has never been caught spying, unlike Facebook. Google does spy of course, but they so far have always been very clear and open on what information they collect. This is very, very different than Facebook, which either lies or obfuscates about how they collect and use information.

    The microphone was probably there to detect glass breaks or when the user was at home. Maybe they didn’t list it on the specs because it wasn’t working yet, and they didn’t want to indicate a feature they might never enable. I think there’s something similar on the Nest Protect, with some feature they later enabled.

    Edit: I’m not saying you should trust Google; just they’ve never lied about this sort of thing in the past, and there’s no reason, based on past behavior, to believe they lied in this case.
    They were found guilty of spying in Europe when their camera cars went around collecting random WiFi data.  Google, after being caught and convicted claimed they didn't know that they did it -- even though they refused to delete the data from their servers.

    Didn't I already respond to you claiming "they refused to delete it" in another thread? That's false. It was deleted years ago as confirmed by German authorities.
    edited February 20 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 44 of 62
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,280member
    Soli said:
    There's absolutely no evidence that this was a working microphone that was eavesdropping on anyone and let's be clear that Alphabet is the one that announced the update that enabled the microphone, not a blogger that discovered nefarious activity. For those looking for a conspiracy you'll have to look harder. This is no different from countless other tech companies that don't disclose inactive HW for a variety of reasons.

    PS: Let's also be clear that Nest Secure came out almost 4 years after Google acquired the company so anyone with trust issues with Google (which is most of us here) wouldn't have been a customer of this product anyway.
    Doesn’t matter. The fact that it was there should have been disclosed, as it does pose an attack vector should the device software or firmware be compromised. Customers not knowing it’s there, that a vector exists, is outrageous.
    And that’s the real point here: an undisclosed attack vector. Informed consent is a valuable concept to understand, even when talking about potential functionality.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 62
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member
    davgreg said:
    I am sure that was an "accident". 

    This is one reason why I want a headless Mac in my home- not an iMac with a camera and mike that cannot be turned off. I can disconnect a USB connected camera and mike.
    There is zero proof that an iMac's camera can be activated without your knowledge. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 62
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,179member
    Eh, fuck Honeywell. Launching a smart thermostat in 2019 without Homekit support? Not that it's surprising. They've been sitting on their ass and deserve to go the way of the Blackberry.
    Soli said:
    There's absolutely no evidence that this was a working microphone that was eavesdropping on anyone and let's be clear that Alphabet is the one that announced the update that enabled the microphone, not a blogger that discovered nefarious activity. For those looking for a conspiracy you'll have to look harder. This is no different from countless other tech companies that don't disclose inactive HW for a variety of reasons.

    PS: Let's also be clear that Nest Secure came out almost 4 years after Google acquired the company so anyone with trust issues with Google (which is most of us here) wouldn't have been a customer of this product anyway.
    Sorry, doesn't cut it. I would fucking want to know if there's a physical microphone embedded in a product I own, whether it's activated or not. I don't think that's too much to ask?
    edited February 20 randominternetpersonGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 62
    Soli said:
    mknelson said:I'm kind  of surprised nobody had done a teardown and spotted it. Then again, it's not new Apple hardware so nobody cared enough? Nothing innovative to explore?
    It is a bit surprising. If this was an Apple product I assume if would’ve been caught. Even their SoCs are x-rated and mapped with people trying to figure out the unknowns.
    X-rated? Like, naked transistors? No way! It's Apple!  :D
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 62
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,180member
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    There's absolutely no evidence that this was a working microphone that was eavesdropping on anyone and let's be clear that Alphabet is the one that announced the update that enabled the microphone, not a blogger that discovered nefarious activity. For those looking for a conspiracy you'll have to look harder. This is no different from countless other tech companies that don't disclose inactive HW for a variety of reasons.
    I think in this particular case more could have been done to correct the error beforehand.

    A team of people were involved in designing, testing and producing the hardware. It is reasonable to think that some of these people would have used the finished product or given it to friends and family. It is unreasonable to assume that none of these people saw that a key (and consumer facing element - even if inactive) got missed on the spec list or in the product documentation.

    Also, this feature will have been in internal testing for a while before getting the go ahead to go live which would have provided more opportunities to catch the slip up.

    I'm with you that I don't see anything nefarious but it should have got caught and clarified earlier IMO.
    Apple Infamously released a Mac with hidden 802.11n WiFi and then only announced it after the driver was ready for a launch…and then charged you a fee for it which pissed people off even though they had purchased the machine despite nary a mention of that being a promised feature.

    As I stated, this isn't uncommon and if you don't trust Google then Nest Secure was never an option for you anyway.

    How many products do we have on our person and in our homes with microphones? From security cameras to personal digital assistants to PCs to phones to my Apple Watch I can think of at least 8 off the top of my head. And while I trust Apple to not spy on me the bigger risk will always be exploiting a bug as we recently saw with FaceTime Group Chat.

    If I was running a company as valuable as Alphabet and I wanted to spy on people I wouldn't do it with an undisclosed, active microphone that could be found, I'd blatantly disclose the microphone (as all our CE already have) and then I'd have backdoor "bugs" built-in that people in-the-know could exploit so there's a level of deniability by the company. We accept bugs in SW and we accept that companies say "oopsie"and then close these holes once discovered.
    Wi-fi isn't comparable to this. Those machines already had Wi-Fi on them. All the update did was unlock support for 802.11n.
    You’re now claiming that 802.11n over 802.11g is just better code? Is this so you can later claim that Apple was being petty for a mere “software update”? ߤ榺wj;♂️
    Not at all. However, both Randominternetperson and Strange Days have expressed very clearly what I was going to include in my reply so there's no need to expand on that except to say I don't see how you can consider Strange Days point irrelevant when it is precisely what users of this product feel peeved about.
    edited February 20 randominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 49 of 62
    We need a chant for public events: "That Google mike's the final strike."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 62
    dysamoria said:
    Soli said:
    There's absolutely no evidence that this was a working microphone that was eavesdropping on anyone and let's be clear that Alphabet is the one that announced the update that enabled the microphone, not a blogger that discovered nefarious activity. For those looking for a conspiracy you'll have to look harder. This is no different from countless other tech companies that don't disclose inactive HW for a variety of reasons.

    PS: Let's also be clear that Nest Secure came out almost 4 years after Google acquired the company so anyone with trust issues with Google (which is most of us here) wouldn't have been a customer of this product anyway.
    Doesn’t matter. The fact that it was there should have been disclosed, as it does pose an attack vector should the device software or firmware be compromised. Customers not knowing it’s there, that a vector exists, is outrageous.
    And that’s the real point here: an undisclosed attack vector. Informed consent is a valuable concept to understand, even when talking about potential functionality.
    That’s one point. Perhaps just as important is that folks who thought they were buying something with no ability to record them now find themselves with something that can and maybe even has. Is Google going to give them their money back? And even if they do, is that good enough? I smell class action suit - or at least I would if it were Apple that pulled this stunt!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 62
    jdgaz said:
    I do my very best to avoid everything Google. Just don't trust those folks.
    ... and Amazon!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 52 of 62
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,258member
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    There's absolutely no evidence that this was a working microphone that was eavesdropping on anyone and let's be clear that Alphabet is the one that announced the update that enabled the microphone, not a blogger that discovered nefarious activity. For those looking for a conspiracy you'll have to look harder. This is no different from countless other tech companies that don't disclose inactive HW for a variety of reasons.
    I think in this particular case more could have been done to correct the error beforehand.

    A team of people were involved in designing, testing and producing the hardware. It is reasonable to think that some of these people would have used the finished product or given it to friends and family. It is unreasonable to assume that none of these people saw that a key (and consumer facing element - even if inactive) got missed on the spec list or in the product documentation.

    Also, this feature will have been in internal testing for a while before getting the go ahead to go live which would have provided more opportunities to catch the slip up.

    I'm with you that I don't see anything nefarious but it should have got caught and clarified earlier IMO.
    Apple Infamously released a Mac with hidden 802.11n WiFi and then only announced it after the driver was ready for a launch…and then charged you a fee for it which pissed people off even though they had purchased the machine despite nary a mention of that being a promised feature.

    As I stated, this isn't uncommon and if you don't trust Google then Nest Secure was never an option for you anyway.

    How many products do we have on our person and in our homes with microphones? From security cameras to personal digital assistants to PCs to phones to my Apple Watch I can think of at least 8 off the top of my head. And while I trust Apple to not spy on me the bigger risk will always be exploiting a bug as we recently saw with FaceTime Group Chat.

    If I was running a company as valuable as Alphabet and I wanted to spy on people I wouldn't do it with an undisclosed, active microphone that could be found, I'd blatantly disclose the microphone (as all our CE already have) and then I'd have backdoor "bugs" built-in that people in-the-know could exploit so there's a level of deniability by the company. We accept bugs in SW and we accept that companies say "oopsie"and then close these holes once discovered.
    Wi-fi isn't comparable to this. Those machines already had Wi-Fi on them. All the update did was unlock support for 802.11n.
    You’re now claiming that 802.11n over 802.11g is just better code? Is this so you can later claim that Apple was being petty for a mere “software update”? ߤ榺wj;♂️
    Not at all. However, both Randominternetperson and Strange Days have expressed very clearly what I was going to include in my reply so there's no need to expand on that except to say I don't see how you can consider Strange Days point irrelevant when it is precisely what users of this product feel peeved about.
    Funny how people (especially you) are more "peeved" about a product they don't own and would never own over the very same iPhones and iPads they actually own having apps that are actively recording your screens that Apple didn't know they were using to spy on customers and required sweeping changes of their Enterprise app system and review process.

    Maybe Apple was lazy or maybe just not as clever as many other developers and companies, but they were pantsed, where as this is just par for the course for both everything under the Alphabet umbrella, par for the course for CE, and a complete non-issue for anyone on this site.

    Why ignore someone caught secretly trying to spy on you and then get outraged by some company announcing a new feature? When Alphabet is caught secretly spying on you then you can be outraged by the invasion of privacy. Forest for the trees.
    edited February 20 n2itivguy
  • Reply 53 of 62
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,715member
    lkrupp said:
    jungmark said:
    “Do no evil.” Right, more like “don’t get caught”. 

    A bug can be a mistake. Bugs happen. Not telling users there’s a mic in a product is a blatant lie. 
    Like not telling you your iPhone is being throttled to maintain battery performance? Just saying.
    And Apple was skewered for it but Apple did mention it was trying to improve the shut down issues. It just failed to detail how they were doing it. 

    Having a mic where you dont expect one is more troubling. 
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 54 of 62
    rob53 said:
    Here comes another congressional investigation. This is blatant spying and Google needs to be held accountable. Everyone goes after Apple for a simple bug in Facebook they didn’t know existed while Google knows they put a microphone in this device and never told anyone. They can’t get away with this one. 
    The microphone wasn’t operational and is opt-in… per the article. No spying would’ve occurred since the user would’ve had to’ve given permission to have the hardware activated. 
  • Reply 55 of 62
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    There's absolutely no evidence that this was a working microphone that was eavesdropping on anyone and let's be clear that Alphabet is the one that announced the update that enabled the microphone, not a blogger that discovered nefarious activity. For those looking for a conspiracy you'll have to look harder. This is no different from countless other tech companies that don't disclose inactive HW for a variety of reasons.
    I think in this particular case more could have been done to correct the error beforehand.

    A team of people were involved in designing, testing and producing the hardware. It is reasonable to think that some of these people would have used the finished product or given it to friends and family. It is unreasonable to assume that none of these people saw that a key (and consumer facing element - even if inactive) got missed on the spec list or in the product documentation.

    Also, this feature will have been in internal testing for a while before getting the go ahead to go live which would have provided more opportunities to catch the slip up.

    I'm with you that I don't see anything nefarious but it should have got caught and clarified earlier IMO.
    Great response. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 56 of 62
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,097member
    On the 802.11/g-n upgrade that Apple charged for.   The reason that they charged was due to accounting rules (at least at the time) that required them to charge as it was a new functionality that the device was not sold "with" and they had to account for the value added vs the recognition of the revenue or something like that.  You can search for it on the internet to read the reason why.

    Back to your regularly scheduled flame fest 
    avon b7n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 57 of 62
    gatorguy said:
    dws-2 said:
    Google has never been caught spying, unlike Facebook. Google does spy of course, but they so far have always been very clear and open on what information they collect. This is very, very different than Facebook, which either lies or obfuscates about how they collect and use information.

    The microphone was probably there to detect glass breaks or when the user was at home. Maybe they didn’t list it on the specs because it wasn’t working yet, and they didn’t want to indicate a feature they might never enable. I think there’s something similar on the Nest Protect, with some feature they later enabled.

    Edit: I’m not saying you should trust Google; just they’ve never lied about this sort of thing in the past, and there’s no reason, based on past behavior, to believe they lied in this case.
    They were found guilty of spying in Europe when their camera cars went around collecting random WiFi data.  Google, after being caught and convicted claimed they didn't know that they did it -- even though they refused to delete the data from their servers.

    Didn't I already respond to you claiming "they refused to delete it" in another thread? That's false. It was deleted years ago as confirmed by German authorities.
    Years ago?  Perhaps.   But not after holding onto it for years (or at least many months).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 58 of 62
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    There's absolutely no evidence that this was a working microphone that was eavesdropping on anyone and let's be clear that Alphabet is the one that announced the update that enabled the microphone, not a blogger that discovered nefarious activity. For those looking for a conspiracy you'll have to look harder. This is no different from countless other tech companies that don't disclose inactive HW for a variety of reasons.
    I think in this particular case more could have been done to correct the error beforehand.

    A team of people were involved in designing, testing and producing the hardware. It is reasonable to think that some of these people would have used the finished product or given it to friends and family. It is unreasonable to assume that none of these people saw that a key (and consumer facing element - even if inactive) got missed on the spec list or in the product documentation.

    Also, this feature will have been in internal testing for a while before getting the go ahead to go live which would have provided more opportunities to catch the slip up.

    I'm with you that I don't see anything nefarious but it should have got caught and clarified earlier IMO.
    Apple Infamously released a Mac with hidden 802.11n WiFi and then only announced it after the driver was ready for a launch…and then charged you a fee for it which pissed people off even though they had purchased the machine despite nary a mention of that being a promised feature.

    As I stated, this isn't uncommon and if you don't trust Google then Nest Secure was never an option for you anyway.

    How many products do we have on our person and in our homes with microphones? From security cameras to personal digital assistants to PCs to phones to my Apple Watch I can think of at least 8 off the top of my head. And while I trust Apple to not spy on me the bigger risk will always be exploiting a bug as we recently saw with FaceTime Group Chat.

    If I was running a company as valuable as Alphabet and I wanted to spy on people I wouldn't do it with an undisclosed, active microphone that could be found, I'd blatantly disclose the microphone (as all our CE already have) and then I'd have backdoor "bugs" built-in that people in-the-know could exploit so there's a level of deniability by the company. We accept bugs in SW and we accept that companies say "oopsie"and then close these holes once discovered.
    Wi-fi isn't comparable to this. Those machines already had Wi-Fi on them. All the update did was unlock support for 802.11n.
    You’re now claiming that 802.11n over 802.11g is just better code? Is this so you can later claim that Apple was being petty for a mere “software update”? 🤦‍♂️
    Please note that the original introduction of 802.11n in the MacBook line at date of ratification was a software update since the WiFi cards present in the devices just before 802.11n was ratified already implemented the 802.11n standard in its 'draft' form.
    That’s the point! Just as Nest updated SW to enable undisclosed HW. Unused HW elements are common as fuck in electronics. Radios in iPhones have included FM for years and yet no mention of the feature and no SW to operate it because they specifically not use it but it was part of the component so would they mention it?
    But with the Macs, the HW was not undisclosed. The specs for those Macs that could be updated to the the upcoming "n" standard, was disclosed on the specs. It was listed as 802.11n (draft). Mac buyers at the time, knew that as soon as the FCC approve the new "n" standard, their Macs with the 802.11n (draft) will be ready, without installing any new HW. They were not taken by surprise when Apple released the SW to update their Mac WiFi card to use the new "n" standard. At the time, if one went to the Mac "System Report" and click on "Network", before any SW update to activate 802.11n, it would list the spec of the Broadcom WiFi card as, 802.11n (draft). Apple did not hide the fact that the WiFi card in their Macs could be upgraded to the "n" standard, from their users. 

    Now Mac users were a little miffed when Apple wanted to charge $5 for the upgrade. This was for accounting reason at the time and I still don't fully understand the explanation. It went something like, Apple could not realized all the revenue from the sale of a Mac with the 8902.11n (draft) card, if they knew ahead of time, that they would eventually incur a cost to upgrade the HW it came with. They would essentially be selling an incomplete Mac and thus could not count all the sales revenue until after they completed the Mac. Thus the charge, even though the revenue from it didn't matter to Apple, they only did this to keep them out of any accounting problem.

    As the tor FM radio in the chip used in iPhones. The FM in those chips can not be made functional without addition HW, namely an antennae. Since there is no FM antennae connected, there is no way for Apple to use the FM feature of the chip, as installed, with just a SW update. Apple has no intention of ever using the FM radio in the chip. It was just there as part of an "all in one chip" they that were using for WiFi and Bluetooth. Apple didn't have to mention the FM feature on the chip because it can not be made functional with just a SW update. It can only be made functional in future iPhone, that uses the same chip, with the addition of an antennae. This was done on an iPod using the headphone wire. But that's not a solution with wireless headphones. 

    Where as Google had every intention of eventually using the microphone in their Nest. Otherwise, why did they have one built in? They could have easily installed a connection point and bay, whereby buyers can install a microphone if they want that feature in the future. Google can even supply the microphone for free (or maybe $5) when the time comes. But it seems that Google could at any time, activate the microphone that none of their users knew about, with just SW. The microphone was a functional piece of HW from the get go. Even Google had admitted that they were wrong for not disclosing the sound recording capability of a Nest to their users, at the time of sale.    
    avon b7
  • Reply 59 of 62
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    There's absolutely no evidence that this was a working microphone that was eavesdropping on anyone and let's be clear that Alphabet is the one that announced the update that enabled the microphone, not a blogger that discovered nefarious activity. For those looking for a conspiracy you'll have to look harder. This is no different from countless other tech companies that don't disclose inactive HW for a variety of reasons.
    I think in this particular case more could have been done to correct the error beforehand.

    A team of people were involved in designing, testing and producing the hardware. It is reasonable to think that some of these people would have used the finished product or given it to friends and family. It is unreasonable to assume that none of these people saw that a key (and consumer facing element - even if inactive) got missed on the spec list or in the product documentation.

    Also, this feature will have been in internal testing for a while before getting the go ahead to go live which would have provided more opportunities to catch the slip up.

    I'm with you that I don't see anything nefarious but it should have got caught and clarified earlier IMO.
    Apple Infamously released a Mac with hidden 802.11n WiFi and then only announced it after the driver was ready for a launch…and then charged you a fee for it which pissed people off even though they had purchased the machine despite nary a mention of that being a promised feature.

    As I stated, this isn't uncommon and if you don't trust Google then Nest Secure was never an option for you anyway.

    How many products do we have on our person and in our homes with microphones? From security cameras to personal digital assistants to PCs to phones to my Apple Watch I can think of at least 8 off the top of my head. And while I trust Apple to not spy on me the bigger risk will always be exploiting a bug as we recently saw with FaceTime Group Chat.

    If I was running a company as valuable as Alphabet and I wanted to spy on people I wouldn't do it with an undisclosed, active microphone that could be found, I'd blatantly disclose the microphone (as all our CE already have) and then I'd have backdoor "bugs" built-in that people in-the-know could exploit so there's a level of deniability by the company. We accept bugs in SW and we accept that companies say "oopsie"and then close these holes once discovered.
    Wi-fi isn't comparable to this. Those machines already had Wi-Fi on them. All the update did was unlock support for 802.11n.
    You’re now claiming that 802.11n over 802.11g is just better code? Is this so you can later claim that Apple was being petty for a mere “software update”? 🤦‍♂️
    802.11n wasn’t a ratified standard at the time and the hardware was developed using a proposed feature set. As the standard was not set, no one was really using it anyway because it would have required a new router, and no routers were 802.11n capable on account of the standard morning being set, Apple was not lying or being devious by only activating 802.11g.

    Once the standard was set all it required was a software update to make the hardware compliant with the specifications which also activated the 802.11n feature set.

     It’s a completely different kettle of fish having an exploitable device that the consumer didn’t know about.
  • Reply 60 of 62
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,258member
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    There's absolutely no evidence that this was a working microphone that was eavesdropping on anyone and let's be clear that Alphabet is the one that announced the update that enabled the microphone, not a blogger that discovered nefarious activity. For those looking for a conspiracy you'll have to look harder. This is no different from countless other tech companies that don't disclose inactive HW for a variety of reasons.
    I think in this particular case more could have been done to correct the error beforehand.

    A team of people were involved in designing, testing and producing the hardware. It is reasonable to think that some of these people would have used the finished product or given it to friends and family. It is unreasonable to assume that none of these people saw that a key (and consumer facing element - even if inactive) got missed on the spec list or in the product documentation.

    Also, this feature will have been in internal testing for a while before getting the go ahead to go live which would have provided more opportunities to catch the slip up.

    I'm with you that I don't see anything nefarious but it should have got caught and clarified earlier IMO.
    Apple Infamously released a Mac with hidden 802.11n WiFi and then only announced it after the driver was ready for a launch…and then charged you a fee for it which pissed people off even though they had purchased the machine despite nary a mention of that being a promised feature.

    As I stated, this isn't uncommon and if you don't trust Google then Nest Secure was never an option for you anyway.

    How many products do we have on our person and in our homes with microphones? From security cameras to personal digital assistants to PCs to phones to my Apple Watch I can think of at least 8 off the top of my head. And while I trust Apple to not spy on me the bigger risk will always be exploiting a bug as we recently saw with FaceTime Group Chat.

    If I was running a company as valuable as Alphabet and I wanted to spy on people I wouldn't do it with an undisclosed, active microphone that could be found, I'd blatantly disclose the microphone (as all our CE already have) and then I'd have backdoor "bugs" built-in that people in-the-know could exploit so there's a level of deniability by the company. We accept bugs in SW and we accept that companies say "oopsie"and then close these holes once discovered.
    Wi-fi isn't comparable to this. Those machines already had Wi-Fi on them. All the update did was unlock support for 802.11n.
    You’re now claiming that 802.11n over 802.11g is just better code? Is this so you can later claim that Apple was being petty for a mere “software update”? ߤ榺wj;♂️
    802.11n wasn’t a ratified standard at the time and the hardware was developed using a proposed feature set.
    Being a draft or accounting rules have nothing to do with whether it's common for vendors to include deactivated HW in products. And the argument that the 802.11n HW is the same 802.11g but with different SW is just asinine.

    You can feel differently about different types of HW or different companies disclosing HW but it will to change the fact that it's common to have to HW that isn't enabled and therefore not labeled as being part of the HW, as we've seen with FM radios in the iPhone for years. So why don't you all save your outrage for when there's some actual skullduggery and privacy that they've been caught violating.
    edited February 21 gatorguymuthuk_vanalingam
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