If you were already concerned about Google overstepping its bounds with regards to your privacy, then the tech giant’s recent $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, a home automation company, should have you shaking in your boots. BrickHouse CEO Todd Morris sat down with Fox Business’s Melissa Francis this week to explain why.
All corners of the tech community, along with civil libertarians, have been crying foul over the acquisition, despite both Google and Nest’s insistence that their policies will remain intact.
With Google bringing Nest into its product line, it adds another means of data collection, and a level of invasiveness beyond what’s relegated to your computer usage. Currently Nest’s products feature smoke detectors and thermostats, et al, but the future could (and most likely will) bring some video component, putting Google’s unblinking eye in your living room. Nest units even look like HAL from 2001.
“They sell this [information] to advertisers. So if advertisers know what you eat, when you watch TV, what you watch [on] TV, what you smoke, all of these things tell them what they can try to sell you and what you’re going to buy,” said technology analyst Rob Enderle.
While it may be alarmist to assume that Google can extrapolate advertising out of cameras in your home, creating some kind of Minority Report future of targeted ads, Morris says it’s not too far fetched.
“As we know, Google has the best facial recognition software available, so they’ll know who’s in your house and when,” he said.
The acquisition has caused numerous Nest users to ditch their devices over privacy concerns. But with Google’s marketing muscle behind it, Nest’s user base is sure to expand exponentially. Because Google’s motivation is data collection and not selling devices, Morris argues, we’ll see a major drop in price, getting Nests into as many homes as possible.
“There’s a saying; ‘If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.’,” Morris added.
Watch the full segment below: