Google reportedly failed to disclose a “secret” microphone featured on its home security product, Nest Secure. According to Business Insider, Google announced this month “users would now be able to use Google Assistant” on Nest Secure devices. However, “users didn’t know a microphone even existed on their Nest Secure devices to begin with.”
Google apologized for failing to disclose the “secret” microphone on Tuesday (Feb 19), claiming it was due to an “error.” “The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part,” declared a Google spokesman. “The microphone has never been on, and is only activated when users specifically enable the option.” “Security systems often use microphones to provide features that rely on sound sensing,” the spokesman explained. “We included the mic on the device so that we can potentially offer additional features to our users in the future, such as the ability to detect broken glass.”
The systems “can’t be disarmed using your voice,” however, with users required to use the “keycode or tag to do that.”
In 2018, it was reported that Google was secretly tracking users movements through “Google services on Android devices and iPhones,” even if users selected privacy settings that were supposed to stop it from happening.