Google announced earlier this month that the Nest Secure hub would double as a Google Assistant device. The announcement came a year after the Nest Secure was released and revealed the existence of a microphone built into the hub unit. To say some people were upset over the revelation might be an understatement.
The issue here isn't that it can work as a Google Assistant, but the fact that Google seemingly hid the existence of a working microphone from consumers for nearly a year.
Despite the popularity of smart home devices, there has seemed to be a continued concern over "big brother" tech recording people's casual conversations at home. Especially coming off the year that Facebook had in front of the U.S. Senate, it's not hard to understand people's anger.
Google has insisted that there was no harm meant and this was simply an oversight. A Google rep, in a response to TechCrunch, said, "That was an error on our part. The microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option."
What doesn't help the situation is the original product page did not list Google Assistant or a microphone as part of Nest Secure. Google has since updated the page following the announcement, but it's still a poor look for one of the biggest tech companies in the world, even if there was no ill will intended, especially at a time when tech giants need to keep consumer faith in any way they can.
This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.