Sorry ‘Bout That


This post is by Jim Horton from Online Public Relations Thoughts


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Google committed a technology faux pas by failing to tell customers that its Net Secure Smart Home hub has a microphone built in. People concerned about privacy were unhappy. How could the company forget to mention it in technical specifications?  The company says it was a mistake and was never intended to be a secret.  When it compiled specs, somehow the microphone was not included.  Skeptics are not accepting that explanation.  They are chalking it up to one more intrusion into consumers' lives.  Congress is on the edge of stepping in with new regulations to protect privacy, and this error doesn't help.  Google says the microphone is for home security when enabled, which it isn't.  It could capture the sound of broken glass and movement through rooms.  However, it could also record conversations and intimate details of people's lives.  Google lost chance of explaining the presence of a microphone by failing to mention it at the outset.  Now it has a PR problem to resolve.