February 17, 2019

The Creepiness of Google Nest

“Today, Google is doing something it should have done weeks or months ago: it’s emailing owners of its Nest security cameras that they should really, really pick a better password, enable two-factor authentication (2FA), and be vigilant if they don’t want strangers to hijack those cameras and peek into their homes over the internet, which has actually been happening in some instances, including a fake nuclear bomb threat that really freaked one family out.

The thing is, Google’s email doesn’t actually say why people should be vigilant right now. It doesn’t mention the camera scares at all.

“We’ve heard from people experiencing issues with their Nest devices,” reads a painfully generic line in the email.

“People with access to your credentials can cause the kind of issues we’ve seen recently,” reads another.

Nowhere does the email describe the “kind of issues” that “we’ve seen.” In fact, the word “camera” doesn’t appear in the email even once.

To be fair, it’s a lose-lose situation for Google, which isn’t exactly responsible for this problem and doesn’t want to scare people off.”

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