Google Smoke Detector Won't Steal Your Identity

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Google's purchase of Nest, which makes “smart” household devices, has sparked a new panic about data collection. Technologist at EverSpark Interactive, Jason Hennessey says to breathe easy.

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Google has explicitly stated that the Nest data will be used only to improve Nest products.

Google spent an easy $3.2 billion last week to acquire Nest, a startup that makes two things: smart, wi-fi enabled smoke detectors and smart, wi-fi enabled thermostats. The purchase has fueled the latest outcry in the privacy debate, but marketing expert Jason Hennessey of EverSpark Interactive says this is one Google grab that doesn't affect personal data.

Wi-fi household devices are supposed to allow owners more control and convenience. The concern for watchdogs is that Google can take the data they collect and use it in ways that customers wouldn't like, as suggested by CNN (retrieved 1.23.2014).

Hennessey says that's not on the horizon.

“Google has been very clear about how they're handling Nest,” he said. “It will continue to operate as it has, simply under the Google umbrella. They aren't integrating anything.”

Hennessey says that makes it unlikely that they could, say, mine smoke detector data for better ads.

“Google has explicitly stated that the Nest data will be used only to improve Nest products,” he said.

Of course, that could change in the future, but Hennessey wonders what real effect that would have on privacy.

“I think people picture spy cameras inside their smoke detectors,” he said. “That isn't how big data works.”

Instead, he says the smart devices will collect information that's only useful in the purview of their household tasks. For instance, a smart thermostat could analyze your temperature habits and suggest a personalized climate control setting, or turn on the AC an hour before you come home from work.

“If the vault of Nest household data is eventually opened, advertisers might find out that people in Nebraska keep it warmer than people in Florida,” Hennessey said. “That's a far cry from an attack on privacy.”

About EverSpark:
EverSpark Interactive is an all-in-one SEO, internet marketing and digital media firm that specializes in gripping, keyword-optimized content. From sales pages to company blogs, PR blurbs to high-quality videos and social media posts, EverSpark's content always gets attention—from both search engines and live customers. The company can be reached at (770) 481-1766 or

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