The US senators have asked Google to provide details about the revelation that the company made about the existence of a hidden microphone in its Nest Guard devices. These are Google’s range of products of home security.
The microphone’s existence in the device was revealed by the company when they declared that it would enable the features of voice-activation on its home alarm device. Later, the company apologized for its failure of not revealing the detail earlier. Google said that till this point the hidden microphone was not used. But the senators have asked Sundar Pichai the chief executive of Google to clarify.
The letter read that recently consumers have increasingly become concerned about tech companies’ ability to use their personal data without their permission and so it becomes important for Google to be transparent with its customers about its product’s technical specifications at the time of sale. The letter added that as Google failed to disclose the existence of the microphone, it raises concerns about its commitment to the consumer about disclosure and transparency.
Google has noted that it never intended to keep the existence of microphone in its Nest device a secret and that it was an error that the company did not list the fact on its technical specifications. The senators have asked for details about – when and how the company became aware that it has not listed the microphone on the specifications available to its customers, whether the microphone was always a component, how was Google informing its customers, the company’s process of development of technical specifications, whether the company was aware of its use by any third party for any unwarranted purposes and whether there had been any omissions in other products of Google. The company has been asked to give a response by March 12.