We jest about Google becoming a dystopian nightmare of a corporation, a relentless privacy eater that wants all your information. But that’s just a joke. It’s not like Google wants to sell you cameras streaming images of your home to their servers 24/7 right? Right?
Uh, yeah. About that whole “surveillance” thing, The Information has some bad news.
Google’s Nest division is plotting a move into the home-security market and has considered acquiring connected camera-maker Dropcam to accelerate the push, according to several people close to Google. The status of any talks between Google and Dropcam, which makes a $150 camera that streams footage to phones and computers, isn’t clear. Spokespeople for both companies did not respond to requests for comment.
Dropcam, for those unfamiliar, is essentially a streaming surveillance camera that uploads your footage to a cloud server, so you can view your dogs, your children, or your neighbor from anywhere. Nest already has thermostats and smoke detectors available, so this actually makes sense in terms of home automation. It’s just incredibly creepy!
It’s bad enough Google is reading your email even if you don’t have a GMail account. Really, adding Google Surveillance to as many homes as possible is more than a little worrying. Any program like this has a truly staggering potential for abuse. Google may have zero interest in abusing it as a company, but companies are staffed and run by human beings who may not be so pure of heart.
Fortunately, it doesn’t appear this is a lock, but don’t expect Google to give up. Especially since Apple might be debuting an invasive security cam of its own next week.