Google wants you to bring Big Brother into the privacy of your home with its Google Nest surveillance system. Google’s Nest Hub surveillance system is constantly looking for its owner’s face and technically can’t be shut off. After making sure certain information is censored on behalf of the political establishment, Google will make sure you’re watched accordingly.
This is calling into question concerns about privacy and human rights. Censorship has crossed the line long ago along with mass surveillance, but humans continue to all but demand more control over their lives. This latest “smart-home” device from Mountain View comes equipped with a constantly-scanning facial-recognition-enabled camera that can’t be shut off, only ‘disabled’ with a switch that also (supposedly) deactivates the microphone, according to a report by RT. Just as the device is constantly listening for its “wake word,” it is prepared to leap into action at the sight of its owner’s visage.
The Nest Hub, as its name suggests, serves as a “hub” for other internet-of-things devices like thermostats, surveillance cameras, and doorbells – which also come equipped with facial recognition, in case the user misses that feeling of being constantly spied on when they finally come home after a long day of surveillance outside. It also uploads video from phone calls and camera footage accessed remotely into the cloud and provides a window into your home for anyone with access to your Google or Nest account. –RT
Google admits that it may “use your face data to test future features and recognition algorithms before pushing them to your device,” CNET reported, citing a statement from the company, which also claimed “no pixels leave the Nest Hub Max” – except when they’re “temporarily processed at Google from time to time to improve the quality of your experience with this device.” So it’s all at Google’s discretion, not yours. The technology giant will decide what information of yours they want and will act accordingly. For a company in the political establishment’s back pocket, while pushing totalitarian censorship, this should be a huge red flag.
Google will “occasionally use the images you provide during setup to generate a face model in the cloud for a couple of reasons” related to “improving product experience” and “motivated by the fact that we have more computing power available in the cloud,” a company spokesperson told the outlet. –RT
The excuses sound familiar. The doublespeak sounds a lot like when Google made excuses for sharing Home audio snippets, like claiming the use of “language experts” was “necessary to creating products like the Google Assistant.” Unlike Google Home, which neglected to inform the users of that key fact until after it was discovered by a Belgian broadcaster, Nest Hub informs users they’re being surveilled and tracked right up front when they set up “Face Match.”
Just how much surveillance is enough?