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Privacy Technology

How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash 93

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-let-them-take-your-analog-shoelaces dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes: "Forbes offers up a comforting little story about how Nest and FitBit are planning on turning user data in a multi-billion-dollar business. 'Smart-thermostat maker Nest Labs (which is being acquired by Google for $3.2 billion) has quietly built a side business managing the energy consumption of a slice of its customers on behalf of electric companies,' reads the article. 'In wearables, health tracker Fitbit is selling companies the tracking bracelets and analytics services to better manage their health care budgets, and its rival Jawbone may be preparing to do the same.' As many a wit has said over the years: If you're not paying, you're the product. But if Forbes is right, wearable-electronics companies may have discovered a sweeter deal: paying customers on one side, and companies paying for those customers' data on the other. Will most consumers actually care, though?"
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How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

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  • Re:Nobody cares (Score:3, Informative)

    by NeverVotedBush (1041088) on Friday April 18, 2014 @05:31PM (#46791285)
    Good question seeing how there are image management companies that will do precisely what this person has done on behalf of companies with image problems such as Google.
  • by forand (530402) on Friday April 18, 2014 @09:48PM (#46792683) Homepage
    The article is very misleading. Nest is working with some power companies which offer their customers financial incentives to allow the power company to dial back their AC units during high load times. Pepco in DC offers the same service but you have to pay for their thermostat. This isn't selling user information this is letting the power companies access their customers' thermostats if and only if that customer allows it. Nothing in the article says anything else is happening than this but states it in a very deceptive way. If the article actually had some evidence of something more nefarious it would be fine but as it is just doesn't stand up.

    This is a link to the Nest program: https://nest.com/energy-partne... [nest.com]
  • Re:Overcollection (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fruit (31966) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @01:35PM (#46795345) Homepage
    The reason for that is to allow people to control their Nest using their smartphone. And the reason they can't connect to their Nest directly is NAT. Of course it's naive to assume that this practice will stop if IPv6 ever takes off, but one can dream.

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