Law enforcement increasingly seeks access to smart home data
In October 2018, a transparency report from the smart home company Nest, which Google acquired for $3.2 billion in 2014, found that between 2015 and 2018 Nest had been told to hand over data on 300 separate occasions relating to up to 525 Nest account holders. Nest turned over data in fewer than 20% of the cases in the first half of 2018, down from the second half of 2015, when the company complied nearly 60% of the time. Nest is best known for its smart thermostats, but it also makes surveillance cameras; 2018 saw the first known case of Google granting law enforcement full access to a user's footage, used to trap and arrest an amateur rap crew on charges of identity theft.
Writer: Thomas Brewster