Four years ago, Google paid $3.2 billion for Nest, a fancy smart-home thermostat and smoke alarm maker.Privacy advocates found this a daunting marriage, but Google wound up running the business at arm’s length, over in its Alphabet division.Nest co-founder and former CEO Tony Fadell told the BBC at the time of the acquisition that consumers could relax. Nest data wouldn’t be mixed with all the other information Google gathers:When you work with Nest and use Nest products, that data does not go into the greater Google or any of [its] other business units. We have a certain set of terms and policies and things that are governed. So, just when you say we may be owned by Google, it doesn’t mean that the data is open to everyone inside the company or even any other business group – and vice versa. We have to be very clear on that.Whew! What a relief, eh?
Google-Nest merger reawakens privacy worries