clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nest CEO promises future privacy policy changes would be 'opt-in'

New, 109 comments
tony fadell OTV watermarked
tony fadell OTV watermarked

Nest's CEO Tony Fadell recently addressed one of the biggest issues surrounding Google's $3.2 billion purchase of the company: privacy. At the DLD Conference in Munich, Fadell stated that any alterations to Nest's privacy policy in the future would be opt-in, and the company would be "transparent" about those changes to its users.

"We have no changes planned, and the data is to stay in Nest's world," Fadell said. "If there are ever any changes whatsoever, we will be sure to be transparent about it, number one, and number two, for you to opt-in to it."

While Fadell says there are no planned changes to Nest's privacy policy yet, he's not ruling the idea out entirely. Google is no stranger to changing its privacy policies, and Fadell seems to realize that the acquisition could eventually bring changes to Nest, even if they are not immediate.

Fadell attempts to brace users for possible change

The potential Google and Nest have to innovate in the smart-home market and elsewhere is enormous, but it won't come without consequences for users. Nest has the opportunity to expand without worrying about infrastructure, and Google takes a giant leap forward in home technology. But while both companies have much to gain from the deal, privacy advocates have had their concerns from the beginning. The Nest thermostat's advanced functionality wouldn't work without what Fadell has described as a lot of "nuance," which can only be gained by constantly collecting data about how users live. The idea that this data could be fed into Google's data machine could be disconcerting to many users. Fadell has been trying to calm those nerves since the acquisition was announced — and has had to apply as much nuance to his wording as Nest does with its data collection.

You can watch the entire interview from the DLD conference below.