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Google says Nest microphone "was never intended to be a secret"

Nest secure system camera
A Nest home surveillance camera. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Google said Tuesday that it should have disclosed to buyers of its Nest Secure system that the product contained a microphone, albeit one that had not yet been put to any use.

Why it matters: In this day and age, consumers should expect to know the audio and video recording capabilities of the devices they buy. There have been a number of examples of devices inadvertently recording users, and there's also concern that either hackers or the government might use such devices to eavesdrop.

Details: Google had announced earlier this month that it would offer the ability to use Google Assistant on the device, tapping the previously undisclosed microphone.

  • "The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs," a Google representative told Axios in a statement.
  • Google confirmed it is the policy of both Nest and Google to disclose if a device has a microphone regardless if it's used.

Go deeper: Rogue Alexa recorded family's conversation, shipped it to a contact

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