Don’t be evil.*

Google announced that they’re buying Nest yesterday, and with it came a flood of jokes about how we’ll need to have a Google+ account in order to change our temperatures from now on.

Google isn’t buying Nest just for their Thermostat or Protect. They bought it for the next wave of products that Nest has in development.

Google is slowly, inevitably invading the home and it wouldn’t bother me so much if their primary purpose wasn’t to advertise to us. Imagine a Google Fiber-connected house, with Google-powered TV, Internet and phone service. Every TV has a Chromecast. Your phone is running their Android OS. In your garage is parked one of their self-driving cars. They’ll know all of your travel patterns. They’ll know what nights you work or stay out late. They’ll know what nights you typically have food delivered in. They’ll know that you like keeping your house a few degrees cooler on average. They’ll know what kinds of beers you like, and how often you bring home groceries because of when you scan in items into your Android-powered fridge. And that information will be used against you. And every time you see an ad popup that seems scarily accurate to your current wants and needs you won’t care, because your life will have been made more convenient.

Featured image via @bkieffer

5 Replies to “Don’t be evil.*”

  1. And that information will be used against you
    Have you considered that maybe it might help people?!

    Imagine a world where you never see a shampoo commercial cause you’re bald, or a car commercial cause you don’t drive. But getting a 30% discount on a trip because Google calendar noticed you didn’t leave the country in a year.

    I would love that. Advertisement is not going away and Google makes it less annoying.

    Not to mention the fact that all the data they have on you are opt-out.

    Chrome didn’t destroy the world and it didn’t create a privacy nightmare, now did it?

    1. I agree, there is lots of potential for good that could come out of this. But that convenience comes at a huge price: you’ll be willingly allowing them to track you online or off. I don’t want to be advertised to 24/7. Giving them a foothold in the home is entering dangerous territory. And do you really want ONE company having this kind of power of your data?

      1. “I don’t want to be advertised to 24/7.” You won’t. You did not get bombarded by ads when using Chrome or Android, not any more than usual. Your fear has no basis.

  2. Now, with recent changes to Google+ and Gmail, anyone in your circles can set your thermostat for you.

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