Google to phase out 'Works with Nest' program as it introduces stringent home device priva...

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in General Discussion edited May 7
Google on Tuesday announced major changes to its handling of Nest, including an end-of-life for the "Works with Nest" program that allows app developers and hardware makers to interface with Nest devices.




In place of Works With Nest, Google will this summer transition Nest owners to "Works with Google Assistant," a framework that provides similar connectivity services but with fewer partners, reports Variety.

Rishi Chandra, vice president of product at Nest, said the change is part of a broader shift in the company's stance on consumer privacy. Whereas Works with Nest allows a large number of manufacturers and developers access to data sharing framework, Works with Google Assistant is more restrictive. Under the incoming program, Google is granting only a small number of vetted partners access to data gathered by Nest products, and only with express consent from end users.

The updated policy promises to have wide-reaching ramifications for smart home devotees invested in the Nest ecosystem. For one, Chandra confirmed "[i]t will break IFTTT," or "if this, then that," a popular automation service used to connect apps and devices through easy-to-use applets.

IFTTT is particularly useful in integrating smart home products. For example, users can create applets to set the temperature of their Nest Thermostat based on location, ambient temperature or time. The service can also be leveraged to enable voice commands for products not officially supported by Google Home smart speakers.

Instead of IFTTT, Google intends to implement similar features through Google Assistant routines.

In addition to announcing the shift away from Works with Nest, Chandra in a blog post on Tuesday outlined Google's push for customer privacy in the home. The company published a set of privacy commitments for connected home devices and services, detailing how device sensors work and how the resulting data is recorded.

Hoping to allay consumer concerns of shady data gathering policies, Google said it is committed to keep recorded data separate from advertising and ad personalization. The company also details how users can manage their data, including methods to access, review and delete audio and video data associated with a Google Account.

As part of the renewed thrust for privacy, Google is allowing Nest Account owners to migrate to a Google Account, enabling access to a set of user tools and security protections. The company sent out emails informing Nest product owners of the coming transition.

"Our goal is simple: earn and keep your trust by clearly explaining how our products work and how we'll uphold our commitment to respect your privacy," Chandra wrote in the blog post.

Like the demise of Works with Nest, Google's new home device privacy ruleset will have a material impact on Nest products. For example, owners of Nest Cam devices will no longer be able to disable the green light that illuminates when the camera is recording.

Today's announced changes arrive as Google works to fully integrate the Nest brand into its corporate portfolio. The smart home device maker was purchased for $3.2 billion in 2014 and was until last year operated as a separate entity. Following underwhelming retail performance, and the departure of founder Tony Fadell, Google brought Nest back into the fold in 2018.

At Google I/O on Tuesday, Google continued its assimilation of Nest by unveiling the Nest Hub Max and renaming the 7-inch Home Hub smart display as the "Nest Hub." While current Going Home smart speakers will retain their respective names, all successor devices are expected to carry Nest branding.

"We want Google Nest to represent the helpful home," Chandra told Variety.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    I am wondering, what this really means for my privacy. Will the Nest thermostat no longer be a Trojan Horse I bring into my house that allows Google to know my comings and goings?
    GeorgeBMacjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 26
    ivanhivanh Posts: 381member
    I am wondering, what this really means for my privacy. Will the Nest thermostat no longer be a Trojan Horse I bring into my house that allows Google to know my comings and goings?
    My understanding is that every smart device or their hub need access to your Wi-Fi router password, eg. Philips Hue. Most of them need you to create an account, eg. TP-Link. You don’t know and can’t control what data these companies collect from your home. Do you trust them? Do you trust smart device / IoT companies with their servers in China? Or better just trust a fewer number of bigger brands, like Google account and Apple ID?
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 26
    metrixmetrix Posts: 253member
    Google makes money on your identity so I really can't see them getting rid of the cash cow. 
    racerhomie3lolliverGeorgeBMaclkruppjbdragondysamoriaAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 26
    jshelkjshelk Posts: 1member
    Well, looks like I’m selling my three nests and getting ecobees. 
    agilealtitudedkhaleywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 26
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,160member
    Sorry Facebook & Google you don’t have the permission to be in my home. 
    agilealtitudelolliverGeorgeBMacdysamoriaAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 26
    I didn’t read Chandra’s blog post outlining “Google’s push for customer privacy in the home.”

    But to those who thought Apple’s recent increased emphasis on privacy, seen most prominently in the March services event, was not a big deal, something users don’t care about, LOL — here’s Google Nest doing the same thing.

    It’s also remarkably similar to what Apple did with the Screen Time protocols, basically putting some third-party developers out of business as they strengthen control of user privacy.

    Google even learned from Apple’s mistake here, as Chandra promises to provide an API for third-party developers, something Apple should have done as part of their response to the New York Times piece. A simple statement that, “We plan to provide access to the Screen Time API in the future,” would have gone a long way toward clarifying the issue.
    edited May 8 gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 26
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    Privacy? 😂 
    AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 26
    jgutherjguther Posts: 82member
    ...here’s Google Nest doing the same thing...

    except they are not...They will still sell your data, because that's their business model.

    GeorgeBMacdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 26
    kikkodkikkod Posts: 4member
    “...owners of Nest Cam devices will no longer be able to disable the green light that illuminates when the camera is recording.

    There goes the whole baby monitoring market! 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 26
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 820member
    ivanh said:
    I am wondering, what this really means for my privacy. Will the Nest thermostat no longer be a Trojan Horse I bring into my house that allows Google to know my comings and goings?
    My understanding is that every smart device or their hub need access to your Wi-Fi router password, eg. Philips Hue. Most of them need you to create an account, eg. TP-Link. You don’t know and can’t control what data these companies collect from your home. Do you trust them? Do you trust smart device / IoT companies with their servers in China? Or better just trust a fewer number of bigger brands, like Google account and Apple ID?
    Bravo. It sounds like the exact words I would have used. I wish I would see sites like AI making this point clear to its readers when reviewing products.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    citpekscitpeks Posts: 58member
    Realistically, most people don't care about privacy.  Whatever benefits they derive from the services offered by the companies in their lives more than offsets whatever concerns they may have about how their data is used/bought/sold.  Everyone does it, not just the tech giants.  If you have a store discount card or store credit card, sign up for promos, etc.  Even merely a bank account, which is used by affiliates to sell you other products like insurance, which was the result of a legislative push by the banking industry.  Even intelligence, conscientious people who know exactl how the Facebooks of the world operate still use it.

    There's reason to be skeptical of this new leaf Google is displaying.  Ever more so with Zuckerberg and Facebook.

    If anything, this could be seen as a bad development for Apple.

    Google's and Amazon's IoT efforts already overshadow HomeKit, to put it kindly.  Now, if they can also claim to have the privacy angle, whether that proves true or not, they can neutralize one of the biggest selling points for HomeKit and steal what little thunder it has remaining.  It may not be game over, but certainly permanent niche status is not an unrealistic outcome.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 26
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,400member
    I mean it can be annoying when Apple leaves you out in the dark, when e.g. terminating certain products. But generally, one of the reasons I like to stick with Apple is the certainty and reliability of having acceptable lifetime support for the products, be it hardware or software. My impression with google is that this is exactly what you cannot rely on which is for me personally a clear case of “why should I even bother to tip my foot in the water - if I don’t k ow whether there will be any water two days from now?”  

    Edit: here’s a taste https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Discontinued_Google_services
    edited May 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 26
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member
    jshelk said:
    Well, looks like I’m selling my three nests and getting ecobees. 
    Nest becomes even more secure and private is prompting you to change hardware? Odd but whatever I suppose. 
    edited May 8 bigtdsiSalmanPakmuthuk_vanalingamdysamoria
  • Reply 14 of 26
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member
    edit
    edited May 8
  • Reply 15 of 26
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,152member
    Trust in Google. 
    Google is your friend.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 26
    I took Google at its word when they reported that they were working on Apple Home support for their thermostats, Detectors, and doorbells. They have dropped the ball here and I will need to remove Google from my home due to invasion of privacy. I will selling 3 thermostats, one detector, and one doorbell on eBay for cheap, and purchasing devices that are Homekit compatible. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 26
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,276member
    I hope it's true, but I see no reason to believe that we're still not their product.

    dysamoriaStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 26
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,172member
    jshelk said:
    Well, looks like I’m selling my three nests and getting ecobees. 
    Do the NEST's work with the iPhone? This is typical Google dropping support and killing things. I went with a Ecobee 4, but really, you would do just fine with a Ecobee 3. To me the built in Alexa is almost worthless. If you want Alexa, buy the 3 and get a Dot that you can place in a better location to use. I think using Siri is easier to control it anyway. I think it's overall easier to use and has more features.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 26
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member
    Soli said:
    I hope it's true, but I see no reason to believe that we're still not their product.

    Funny!

    But in actuality "you" were never the product to begin with. The ads they place are the product, and the anonymized "you" goes into the nuts and bolts that make those ads more valuable than traditional print ads...
    supposedly more valuable anyway. 

    Google does not make any personal information available to any advertisers, companies that include Apple to Zippo. Google ads don't target people, they rely on advertising ID's dumped in big ol' baskets of similar depersonalized ID's. The real you was never sold. 
  • Reply 20 of 26
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,276member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    I hope it's true, but I see no reason to believe that we're still not their product.

    Funny!

    But in actuality "you" were never the product to begin with. The ads they place are the product, and the anonymized "you" goes into the nuts and bolts that make those ads more valuable than traditional print ads...
    supposedly more valuable anyway. 

    Google does not make any personal information available to any advertisers, companies that include Apple to Zippo. Google ads don't target people, they rely on advertising ID's dumped in big ol' baskets of similar depersonalized ID's. The real you was never sold. 
    Sure, but the rancher also doesn’t tell the vendor the life history of the beef they sell them. That doesn’t mean the cattle isn’t the product.
    dysamoriaAppleExposedwatto_cobra
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