Nest to share user information with Google for the first time


Nest Labs is set to share some user information with corporate parent Google for the first time since its February acquisition.

Matt Rogers, a co-founder of the smart-thermostat maker, said in an interview that Google will connect some of its apps to Nest, allowing Google to know when Nest users are at home or not.

And so it begins.

Update: This is an opt-in program. JD

  • “Its popular Google Maps app can already determine where users live and work based on where they carry their phones.”

    Google already knows is such a lame excuse. If developers would stop using that as an excuse, Google would stop knowing.

    • I use a launcher that changes when I move around [work, home, driving]. My phone already knows my location is not an excuse…it’s a reality.

      • ja

        Your phone knows where you are, yes. That doesn’t mean Google needs to know, too.

        • Need to? Correct. Do they? Yep.

          I’m definitely not the normal user but numerous Google apps know my location freely. It makes for a considerably better experience with Google Now.

          • ja

            Uh.. so then you just completely missed the point of Steven’s post. It’s ok to admit it. We won’t judge (that much…)

          • Care to explain? I don’t see where I missed the point. He said it is an excuse when it isn’t, as I clarified. I’m all for saying when I’m wrong…show me I was though.

            We don’t buy into the fear mongering tactics and share our data more freely to get a better, unmatchable experience.

          • Everything you listed there could be done device-side. Getting nearby locations could be done based on something other than your exact location, then doing a filter device-side.

            C’mon, man. You’re a developer. You know this. You’re giving them an excuse.

            The “Google already knows” excuse is akin to “everybody does it,” and is absolutely an excuse. Because if the first developer hadn’t, we wouldn’t be in that state.

            The fact is that it’s in Google’s best interest to know these things. It’s in Apple’s best interest not to. Everything else comes from those different perspectives.

          • It is all done on the device. I didn’t say otherwise. My chosen launcher is from Yahoo so if there are any analytics, Yahoo gets them.

            It is in Apple’s best interest to know these things too. Once they do, you’ll get a better experience on your device(s).

          • I think you’re confusing the device and Apple. Absolutely the device should know. Equally, it should absolutely not have to report its current location.

          • Only if there aren’t any other integration points.

            Ex – I don’t have to tell my wife “meet me on the corner of X and X” [unless she already knows that area, of course that’s easier]. She can simply go to my location in Google+.

            Ex 2 – Google Now knows where I parked.

            I could go on and on but I prefer my device to be useful without me having to tell it to be and for that I trust Google to use my data to enhance my experience. Spoiler: they don’t disappoint.

          • Your examples:

            1. Your location can be transferred to a specific user without being able to be decoded by the intermediary.
            2. Your parking location can be remembered without taking a round trip to the server. And if it is remembered on the server, there’s no reason the server should have to be able to decode it.

            This isn’t about limiting features, it’s about implementing things in smart ways that put privacy first.

          • You’re still in the user generated tasks mindset. There isn’t a need for me to transfer to a specific user if I configure my device to share it anyway.

            Yes, a parking location can be saved locally.

            I have zero privacy concerns w/ my info sent to Google or Apple. Neither have wronged me or my data so I’m comfortable with sharing as much as possible to improve my experience.

  • arcsine

    ‘But, I run Nest as an independent entity’ – said the guy who plays Igor to Google’s Dr. Frankenstein.

    • indeed. would an independent entity just….give user data to an ad company? i think not. hes so full of it…

  • matthewmaurice

    So much to wonder about here. Like “[u]sers will have to opt in for their information to be shared with Google, Rogers said.” Does that mean they can opt-in to share their information or usage requires opt-in for the functionality? It’s one thing as a Nest Android app user to give Google my information, and it’s another if to be a Nest Android app user I need to give Google my information. Another interesting quote “’We’re not telling Google anything that it doesn’t already know,’ said Rogers.” Really, so why tell them? And aren’t you telling Google and whatever other 3rd-parties request the info and get user agreement?

  • Remember when it was paranoid delusion to be concerned about what Google would do with the data from Nest?

    Good Times.

  • SockRolid

    How long until Nest is the leading home-automation malware target? I’d guess that it already is.

  • SockRolid

    Hey Nest: “Don’t be Google.”

  • imthedude

    I also wonder when geeks will see Google for what it really is, and what their true pursuits are.

  • DarthVaderSaysNO


    Remember this from Nest?

    “Will Nest customer data be shared with Google?

    Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services. We’ve always taken privacy seriously and this will not change.”

    This is only the beginning. Can’t wait for the new Honeywell Lyric thermostat. Hopefully they make the right privacy decisions vs Nest.

    • T_Will

      I’m honestly surprised at how quickly they’ve flipped on their privacy policy.

  • Moeskido

    Just the tip. I’ll pull out.

  • Shocker…I like this. It opens up the possibility for Google Now to provide me insight/data or even controls. Maybe integrated into Google Now is Google’s play for the home.

    Google has never sold me or my data so I have zero problems.

    • Do you see ads when you use Google’s products or services? Then they most certainly have sold you and your data.

      • No, never sold me or my data. They allowed someone to target me but no other entity has access to my data, whether anonymous or personally identifiable, by my use of Google services.

        That narrative is a fun one for Apple-heads but the truth is less scary.

        If it were true, OH NO…THE LOOP SOLD ME! #ads

        Targeting != selling user data

        • Your experience has been lessened using data they have collected from you.

          Yes, that’s selling you out using your information.

          • Nope. You can’t say my experience has been lessened. That’s completely untrue purely based on the fact Google Now seriously improves my experience, something Siri couldn’t, through my aggregated data.

            There is no selling out. Allowing me to be targeted is not selling me out any more than The Loop presenting me Deck ads.

          • Great. Now imagine the same feature, but you never see ads anywhere on anything Google runs.

            You can’t argue you’re not getting a lesser experience because of advertising. That’s just foolish, John. If nothing else, they’re eating your bandwidth and slowing your total transfers.

          • I don’t see ads anywhere in Android and I don’t use any web apps from Google with ads often enough to be bothered with ads aside from search.

            So…no, I don’t have a lesser experience because no ads show up anywhere for me. Granted, Gmail on Android tested ads but I haven’t seen one yet.

            You’re right about ads spending more bandwidth but they’re either text or small images. It’d be a problem if I got any.