The question of trust is perhaps most important of all. Fadell once described the Nest thermostat to me as nothing more than an on / off switch with a lot of nuance â€” nuance gained by collecting huge amounts of data about your living patterns and energy needs. Adding that data to Google’s formidable collection of information about nearly everyone who uses the internet struck immediate fears with privacy advocates and a growing base of skeptics who contend Google’s ad-supported business model creates an anti-privacy culture.
The Nest thermostat gathers data, very personal data, about how we live. Those who trusted Nest with that data went out and bought the thermostat. The same logic applies to Protect, a smoke detector by Nest. Trust Nest? If the answer is yes (and if you have some disposable income), you’d buy Protect. Do Nest customers trust Google the same way? My guess is no.