Your Thermostat and the Internet - Comments Page 1

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Comment Page: 1 |  2 

Posted by:

Jim
17 Feb 2014

Bob,
How long will it be before the local bad guys simply ride down a residential street and determine that your home is vacated? They might hack in and determine that you have set the nest to turn the heat back up a week from next Wednesday.

Posted by:

Edward Lieber
17 Feb 2014

I believe that Google will use the talking smoke alarm to broadcast talking advertisements geared to a families behavior patterns which it will garner from the Nest Thermostat. Nest says that they will not share that data with Google but if Google owns Nest Google will make those decisions not the current Nest executive. Also as home automation spreads and becomes cheaper and easier to install Google will be able to build in monitoring systems to garner even more information about your life style.

Posted by:

Bill Boogaart
17 Feb 2014

I had heard of the Nest thermostat quite a while back and found it to be an interesting idea. However I thought it to be a little too expensive at the time and figured I would wait until the price dropped. But with Google buying the company I've lost interest in it and won't be getting one. It isn't that I'm suspicious of Google's intentions or anything (sarcasm).

Posted by:

Dwight Simmons
17 Feb 2014

Funny - Government Agency's like the NSA collect data and screen emails and phone calls and politicians act like it's the end of the world. As far as I see, there has been no evidence that this has been used against law abiding citizens. Business does the same thing and uses the information to deny credit, deny employment, deny housing and that's fine.

Am I missing something here?

As long as the data is being collected, there exists the potential for abuse. The more it is in the hands of business, the greater the risk. I vote for my government, not for my business leaders.

Posted by:

Diane
17 Feb 2014

I am becoming more and more leery of Google. I use duckduckgo now instead of Google search. I try to have as little as is probably possible to do with Google. In my mind it is becoming dangerous.

Posted by:

Mike Strickland
17 Feb 2014

I see the advantage of having smart thermostats and smoke detectors, along with the ability to monitor and change the settings via internet connections, but I also see problems with how that information can be used. As Americans get more and more of their personal information sold amongst corporations, the corporations seem to want more and more - a vicious cycle.

I agree with you about wait and see. Privacy policies are just a document, and documents can be easily changed. Just because Nest's current privacy policy may prevent sharing info with Google, it by no means precludes that ever happening.

I see Google's action as another potential encroachment into the privacy of individuals. It appears, however, that a good portion of Americans are quite happy to give away their privacy for a little convenience or the possibility of a little security. Sad, but they seem to welcome Big Brother...

Posted by:

TK
17 Feb 2014

Bob: As always, another thought-provoking article. Thank you! After reading this, I am more convinced than ever that there are too many ways for me to be connected to entities that do not need to know so much about me. The older I get, the more I eschew technology. I just want to be left alone. That is the ultimate freedom! Thanks, again!

Posted by:

Brian S.
17 Feb 2014

Bob, are you somehow implying that Google may be Santa Claus in sheep's clothing?

Posted by:

Arnold Christensen
17 Feb 2014

Always thought the Nest thermostat was cool but never liked the price. I ran across a Honeywell thermostat that you can connect to from the internet. You can set the schedule of heating or cooling very simply. You register it with Honeywell and you can sit in Hong Kong and set the temp in the house. Works very well and keeps the temp right at what you set it at and there is no 2-3 degree fluctuation. Price was excellent at about the $100 mark at Home Depot. I will have to think about the smoke alarms not only talking to me but also the cost as we have 12 of them in the house and the cost will be a good percentage of my monthly retirement pay and if I am in Hong Kong and something goes wrong... by the time I get home I will be looking at embers, no matter how long it screams at me that it is getting hot in here Bub!

Posted by:

Heather
17 Feb 2014

I remember a month or two ago I read an article from RedState.com's Erick Erickson, who said he had intended to buy just this particular type of thermostat for his Georgia home and learned that Google was buying the company. He changed his mind. I know that it would take a HUGE amount of time to recover (in savings) the additional cost of this 'smart' appliance. And I for one, despite having a gmail address, really don't want google to have all that much data on me. So in addition to the recovery period for the expense, there's that consideration which has ruled out any Nest-type products for this homeowner. Get a now-cheap less 'smart' automatic setback/programmable thermostat and be done with it! (I got mine on sale about 5 yrs ago for about $15, at Kmart...and it was a snap to install!)

Posted by:

Ellen
17 Feb 2014

Many utility companies offer a FREE programmable thermostat. Savings are the same whether from a $250 Nest thermostat or a free one. The differnce: the built-in smoke detector. If it goes off when you are out, it can notify you. Otherwise, save the $250 for the Nest unit. Get the free one from your utility company and still save 20% on your utility bill.

Posted by:

memnosine
17 Feb 2014

V-e-e-r-r-y interesting! The internet connection can be disabled, keeping your home habits away from Nest or Google, but also preventing your remote monitoring and control. Nothing is free. (And this cost is not all that bad; I paid almost as much for a Heathkit automatic thermostat back in the day.) We sacrifice too much privacy for convenience these days; it's too cool not to have your thermostat -and refrigerator- on the net.

Posted by:

PAF56
17 Feb 2014

I don't trust GOOGLE for anything, any more than I trust the NSA.

They have been spying on U.S. Citizens ever since they started!

Posted by:

RandiO
17 Feb 2014

Recently, I was in the market for a replacement thermostat as replacement for the decades old Honeywell unit on the wall. I looked at this Nest unit long and hard and decided that my place really did not need to be so connected and automated, especially for the price of entry.
Similarly, my mate suggested that maybe we should explore some sort of video surveillance of the premises and I also nixed that whole idea. It is getting harder and harder to not be so connected to the world around us. But I am one of those Luddite-types that does not even like WiFi and still refusing a smartphone ownership. But I feel the extreme pressure all around me to get connected, as everyone else is becoming. Even our local electric company is on this connectivity kick and they are equipping all the new electric meters with connectivity options that can log in your daily usage habits of electricity. Argh!
Like the Borg had once said "Resistance is futile, you shall be assimilated!" I dread that day!

Posted by:

Greg
17 Feb 2014

I have a relative who works for Nest Labs. They said Nest Lab employees are a little hurt by all the negative feedback about sharing users information. Their policy's protect users and the management is strong on keeping things as is. The person explaining the deal to employees was adamant about user data being sacrosanct but the Google person was pretty wishy-washy and non-committal about future plans. I think you are right about Google's plans for their users data.

Posted by:

Steve
17 Feb 2014

I had the same question, and your answer makes a lot of sense and is also troubling as the owner of a Nest thermostat. I was also disappointed that the management at Nest sold out for the big bucks. Oh well, money talks and...

Posted by:

Not Bill Gates
17 Feb 2014

$3.2 billion dollars for a company that sells fancy expensive auto-programmable thermostats and smoke detectors. I hope there's more technology there (and a better business model) than meets the eye.

Perhaps it's just an alternative advertising delivery system. Could they plan on giving Nest units away for free, in order to snoop on people and throw more advertisements at them? Or maybe just a gateway to the central (and only) character in Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains" ... August 2026 isn't that far away ...

Posted by:

Mary
17 Feb 2014

So what's next? A "smart" toilet paper holder? Think of the possibilities. Someone, somewhere can learn how many times the toilet gets flushed (water conservation), how many times the bathroom light is turned on (energy conservation),target specific ads (toilet paper to incontinence products to laxatives), etc etc. Wow! I can hardly wait!!!

Posted by:

JMeans
18 Feb 2014

Google makes me nervous. I wish they had not bought Nest Labs. I am on the verge of getting one, but knowing Google's rep for data gathering, I may not. Some things are just none of anyone's business, including my home habits. This need for personal data gathering by our government & other businesses is becoming more than irritating. I hope Nest Labs will only gather "product betterment" info, but with Google as the parent company, that could quickly change.

Posted by:

Paul Howell
18 Feb 2014

I live in San Diego County about twelve miles from the coast. It hasn't gotten below fifty four degrees in our not so well insulated house in the last four years. Forgot to close the sliding glass door when I went to bed in 2010. With a new Nest Thermostat We may see the rise of socks stocks on the DOW.

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