Google’s Nest Lab Acquires Dropcam in a $555 Million Deal

Written by | Updated June 25, 2014

Earlier this year, Google purchased Nest Labs for $3.2 billion and this week Nest Lab is purchasing Dropcam in a $555 million cash deal. After purchasing Nest, Google made it clear Nest would have total autonomy, but many users are worried about the implications that these acquisitions have for security and privacy.

Nest Labs creates smart thermostats and smart smoke detectors that are able to learn users’ usage patterns and potentially save the user a lot of money on utility costs. Dropcam is said to be a “kindred spirit” with Nest in a blog post that co-founder Greg Duffy wrote about the two companies.

“Both were born out of frustration with outdated, complicated products that do the opposite of making life better,” Duffy said.

Dropcam makes security cameras for home and business use. The easy-to-use cameras were designed to use as anything from a baby monitor to a security camera. Dropcam users are able to access their live video feed, which is stored on the Cloud, from a wide variety of devices.

It seems Google took a solid step toward providing comprehensive smart home solutions. Although the convenience of a smart home is often undeniable, many people are worried about the security and privacy implications this acquisition will have.

The KPCB Internet Trends 2013 Report reported that Dropcam users have uploaded more video per minute than YouTube users. Many people are not comfortable with Google having access to the large amount of video coming from inside of their home. Nest Labs and Google have both made it clear Nest Labs acquired Dropcam and all Dropcam video will be subject to Nest Labs privacy policy; nothing will be shared with Google unless the owner of the content wants it to be shared with Google.

Nest Labs recently announced they will, in fact, allow their customers to opt in to sharing information with Google. The users who do opt in will essentially allow Google to know when they are at home and when they are not at home. Providing this information will allow users to use voice commands for a Google mobile app to control the temperature of their home. Google Now, Google’s personal digital assistant, will also be able to automatically sense when a user is coming home and adjust the thermostat accordingly.

As Google, and the companies Google acquires, continue to make headway toward a smart home package, the implications for home security are vast. Questions people should consider are where is your home security feed being stored? Who has access to your home security feed? Who are you comfortable having access to your home security feed? We’re looking forward to seeing what develops with this new acquisition.



Written by Rachel Drake

Rachel reports on advancements in the home security and automation industry. From new technology to game-changing acquisitions, Rachel covers all the latest. Learn more

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