Google‘s “Nest Guard” alarm system is found in numerous homes around the world. What the proud owners didn’t know until now: The device has a built-in microphone. Google did not inform interested parties or the press about the presence of a microphone.
The existence of the built-in microphone became known when Google announced that the in-house language assistant could now also be used with the alarm system. For this purpose, the device must have a microphone. This announcement led to irritated inquiries from owners of the alarm system as well as from media representatives.
Google has now admitted that the device has a built-in microphone in any case. The concealment of this central information is presented by the group as a communication error – it was not the intention to deceive the buyers about this circumstance. Google also stated that the microphone was disabled, so no eavesdropping was possible. The microphone must also be activated manually in order to be able to use the assistant.
Despite this insurance, many users will probably remain irritated and insecure. The presence of an unknown microphone represents a massive breach of trust on the part of Google. The alarm system is not sold in Germany. In the US shop, it is now listed under audio equipment where it was not previously found.
Google claims to have built in the microphone to expand the functionality of the device later.