(Tea Party PAC) – In light of some of the more shocking revelations of Big Tech’s maniacal obsession with the private data of Americans, it should be no surprise that Google, the biggest behemoth of them all, has abandoned its unofficial motto, “Don’t Be Evil.”
While invasion of privacy isn’t quite as “evil” as, say, corporations like Planned Parenthood whose business is literally murder, Google’s decision to drop their motto is quite telling.
To be fair, Americans are willingly—whether they realize it or not—forking over their rights to privacy with their incessant social media addiction. We, or the people we know, are constantly posting about where we’re going, what we’re doing, who we’re with, what we believe, who our kids are, and more, and often without taking advantage of what little privacy features these companies offer.
Armed with the knowledge that American consumers happily gave up such precious info through normal use of platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and Twitter, tech giants like Google were emboldened to simply stop asking our permission.
We’ve come to know Google for their gross overreach when it comes to getting their greasy hands on private data, even from non-users, especially in their hugely popular email platform, GMail. But as Google continues to branch out into physical goods like phones, “smart speakers,” and security systems, their access to our private lives has reached a shocking new level.
According to Business Insider, Google announced that Nest Secure, its home security alarm system, would be getting a few updates, allowing users to utilize Google Assistant, a virtual-assistant technology.
They left out one little detail, though. The physical item has a microphone that Google seems to think customers didn’t need to know about.
Business Insider reports:
The existence of a microphone on the Nest Guard, which is the alarm, keypad, and motion-sensor component in the Nest Secure offering, was never disclosed in any of the product material for the device.
A Google spokesperson that their failure was just a little whoopsie-daisy moment. “The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs,” said the spokesperson, who was not named in the article. “That was an error on our part.”
The spokesperson attempted to assure customers that “the microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the [Google Assistant] option” and that future features and upgrades could require a microphone, like “the capability of detecting glass breaking.”
“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,” Google said in a statement.
If anyone believes that Google accidentally forgot to mention the microphone, that it is always off unless activated, and that anything it overhears is kept private, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
This isn’t the first time Google has been caught listening at the door. In 2010, Google admitted that their fleet of Street View cars “accidentally” gathered personal data that was being transmitted via unsecured WiFi networks—including access to email accounts—as they drove by.
Back in 2017, NewsTarget reported that Google’s voice-activation software doubling as an eavesdropping tool is nothing new. These features have purposes Google tells us about on the surface, like eliminating handicaps in using smartphones, but the truth is that these mics pick up everything you say to it and are even triggered by background noise and conversations with other people.
Do you trust Google with any of your private information? If I were you, I wouldn’t touch any of these “smart” devices with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole. You never know who is listening, and who they’re telling about it.