Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the don't-let-them-take-your-analog-shoelaces dept.

Privacy 93

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?"

cancel ×

93 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Nobody cares (-1, Troll)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 months ago | (#46791217)

Google gives us great products and services, and minds the privacy that we actually care about. With the data they aggregate they provide services that would be possible in no other way. Google is just not creepy. You know what is creepy? The marketing company trying at great expense to sell us the idea that Google is creepy. That is creepy. Who are they?

Re:Nobody cares (2)

Narcocide (102829) | about 5 months ago | (#46791255)

Who are you?

Re:Nobody cares (2, Informative)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:Nobody cares (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 5 months ago | (#46791467)

Hah!

And then the post, as mysteriously as it arrived, vanished. Astroturfing expedition aborted? Its certainly much harder to imagine dirty pool is not involved now.

Re:Nobody cares (1)

Yakasha (42321) | about 5 months ago | (#46791525)

Hah!

And then the post, as mysteriously as it arrived, vanished. Astroturfing expedition aborted? Its certainly much harder to imagine dirty pool is not involved now.

Whoah there partner.

Turn up the tinfoil and turn down your threshold. It was modded down.

Re:Nobody cares (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 5 months ago | (#46791595)

Oh, woops, thanks, my bad. I thought my threshold was already at the minimum.

Re:Nobody cares (1)

Yakasha (42321) | about 5 months ago | (#46791517)

Who are you?

Who ARE you?

Re:Nobody cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791591)

Who are you?

Who ARE you?

What do you WANT?

Re:Nobody cares (1)

Kuroji (990107) | about 5 months ago | (#46791697)

Who are you?

Who ARE you?

What do you WANT?

How did you get in my HOUSE?!

Re:Nobody cares (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46792491)

I'm the NSA, we have always been in your house... and can you please change to 2 percent milk? Agent Jenkins is getting fat and starting to stick out from behind the TV.

Re:Nobody cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46793617)

I'm the NSA, we have always been in your house... and can you please change to 2 percent milk? Agent Jenkins is getting fat and starting to stick out from behind the TV.

Oh dear well guess i got them good and propoer screwed then
My heating I control manually
I dont do wearable electronics .
My IP address comes out almost exactly 192 miles out
and i know where all the CCTV cameras are and how to dodge them .. (including the ones in private homes)

That's the way it is going to stay as well ..

Re:Nobody cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46793053)

I wanna ROCK!

Re:Nobody cares (0)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 months ago | (#46792943)

You and I have both been here on /. since before Google was a publicly traded company.

Re:Nobody cares (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46791269)

You know whats creepy? People trying to tell me that other creepy people aren't really creepy because other creepy people really are creepy.

It's creepy all the way down.

Re:Nobody cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791793)

The marketing company trying at great expense to sell us the idea that Google is creepy. That is creepy. Who are they?

We have a MARKETING company that has the Net by the balls.

OK?

They know our online habits.

?Mkay?

They can ... I am tired of patronizing you.

Go away.

Re:Nobody cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791275)

Nobody cares.

Look at the post I'm responding to - here's someone their knees and completely ignorant of what Google actually does, all for the sake of some shitty UI and shiny trinkets.

Re:Nobody cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791321)

I have a hard time telling whether you're serious or sarcastic.

Will most consumers care? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791257)

No.

I like using Myfitnesspal to track my calories, and Runkeeper to track my intervals. What they do with the data is their fucking business as long as I get good service. On another note, I want something that attaches to a barbell and tracks the speed of the bar and can automatically count my reps by interfacing to a strength tracker app on my phone. I know there is someone on this site that can do that.

Re:Will most consumers care? (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | about 5 months ago | (#46792061)

On another note, I want something that attaches to a barbell and tracks the speed of the bar and can automatically count my reps by interfacing to a strength tracker app on my phone. I know there is someone on this site that can do that.

Sounds like a good application for a Smart Watch, assuming it has accelerometers, heart rate monitor, etc. I know some folks don't like to train with a watch on, but if you did it could count reps tell you when to slow down, speed up, etc.

Re:Will most consumers care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46806635)

On another note, I want something that attaches to a barbell and tracks the speed of the bar and can automatically count my reps by interfacing to a strength tracker app on my phone. I know there is someone on this site that can do that.

Sounds like a good application for a Smart Watch, assuming it has accelerometers, heart rate monitor, etc. I know some folks don't like to train with a watch on, but if you did it could count reps tell you when to slow down, speed up, etc.

Umm, I'm sorry, but a notebook and pen is your competition for this and it takes literally 3 minutes per hour of working out to log your sets. I can see some people who strangely hate something about this feeling it's worth superceding a notebook and pen but I feel it's going to be rare. A lot of people use Fitocracy at the gym, a couple of clicks there. The GP even has a similar app and is too lazy to click a "plus" button for another set and type in the reps, hell, most will pre-fill your last set in so you can keep reps or weight if they were the same.

You accelerometer isn't going to work well, where do you put it? Barbell squats is going to have a different answer than bench press. A Body Media is better than FitBit for lifting if you want that kind of tracking, that's doable (Body Media tracks temperature, heart rate, and O2, iirc, FitBit is primarily motion based, it's actually crappy for cycling too).

Because if the GP's idea worked, and this is going to blow your mind, YOUR PHONE WOULD ALREADY BE DOING THIS.

Re:Will most consumers care? (1)

plover (150551) | about 5 months ago | (#46792755)

Would you like your food data shared with your insurance company? How about your weight? Your BMI went above 22 this month. Not good, lower it or else. Your running? You didn't meet your jogging goals for the week. That's it, we're raising your health care premiums. That's a lot of beer you're drinking, and you put a lot of miles on your car, so it looks like we'll have to cancel your auto policy because statistically you're likely a drunk driver.

If you say "OK, share my data", it can go a lot of places you may not intend.

Re:Will most consumers care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46793055)

I don't give a shit. Take my data. Right now we seem to have a lot of people missing workouts, eating shitty food, and binge drinking. Maybe a financial incentive will change their shitty behavior, and we won't have so many fat asses walking around.

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46793965)

You don't understand. It's not incentive, it's coercition. Do your workout, _or else_...

Depends on if it is in aggregate. (5, Insightful)

captaindomon (870655) | about 5 months ago | (#46791293)

Will they care? It all depends on the data being shared is in aggregate. I don't care if people know that the average person in my city walks a thousand steps a day, and that still has a lot of value for health care companies, and I'm happy to contribute to that. I *DO* care if they know the details about me *individually*. There is a big difference.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791369)

Assume that advertisers can buy the details about you as an individual. Be it where you ran to, how much you ran, etc.

The EULA of those devices likely states that, and there has yet to be a EULA/TOS overturned, so consider that data public... or don't use the device.

I don't use Fitbits, nor Nest stuff. However, I don't have a blog, nor post my soul on social networks. I guess I'm a fossil.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (2)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46791627)

I don't trust any device that insists on reporting to 'the cloud' rather than to a machine of my choosing. Even if it says it only reports to the machine of my choosing, I don't really trust that it doesn't also report to 'the cloud'.

The cloud has no legitimate need to know. That's why my 'smart tv' is a laptop loaded with Linux connected to a not so smart TV.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 5 months ago | (#46792145)

FitBit TOS states that they might use unanimous data aggregates but my individual data is private, unless I explicitly authorize sharing. I have no problem with that at all.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (2)

jordan_robot (1830144) | about 5 months ago | (#46792385)

I bet that same TOS also states that FitBit has the right to change the TOS at any time.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46792501)

What get's me is why hasn't anyone hacked the fitbit's data stream? you think there would have already been drivers that capture the data for you and keep it private or android apps that harvst the data and keep it away from the mothership.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 5 months ago | (#46797815)

Several people did. There's a fitbitd Linux project: https://bitbucket.org/benallar... [bitbucket.org] I tried it a couple of months ago - it works.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (1)

Douglas Goodall (992917) | about 5 months ago | (#46799007)

do you mean anonymous?

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46792873)

I don't use Fitbits, nor Nest stuff. However, I don't have a blog, nor post my soul on social networks. I guess I'm a fossil.

No, what you are is not an idiot like most of the cock-gobbling scum who post here.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791433)

I don't care if people know that the average person in my city walks a thousand steps a day, and that still has a lot of value for health care companies, and I'm happy to contribute to that.

I am not so sure that I agree.

In order to have value for health care companies, it must affect a decision(s) by the health care companies. That decision has 3 possible relationships to me: it benefits me, it does not benefit me, or it has no effect. If it benefits me or has no effect, then, OK. But if it works against my interests, why would I voluntarily contribute my information to that end result?

It gets worse, though, since I will have no ability to know what the result will be.
The only safe option that seems available to me is to NOT share that information.

seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46792855)

Well said.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (1)

guanxi (216397) | about 5 months ago | (#46791543)

Will they care? It all depends on the data being shared is in aggregate. I don't care if people know that the average person in my city walks a thousand steps a day, and that still has a lot of value for health care companies, and I'm happy to contribute to that. I *DO* care if they know the details about me *individually*. There is a big difference.

That data is worth a lot more than you think, and they can learn a lot more about you as an individual. Also, knowing the value of that data, why give it away?

Now We See The Real Greed (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#46791713)

Yes, because it can help others, you selfish bastard.

People always complain companies are greedy, but they should take a look at individuals who want a piece of the action for EVERYTHING.

What is wrong with you? Seriously? Why is everyone so greedy that a company cannot accidentally or otherwise make one cent off data you willingly contribute for the greater good?

Could you have sold that data anyway? No? Then what the hell man?

Re:Now We See The Real Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791763)

Sent from my Android (?)

Re:Now We See The Real Greed (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46792507)

Because the fuckers will not allow me to access my raw data. I don't care if my data is curing cancer, HONEST companies would let me at the data stream for my own uses.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (1)

skids (119237) | about 5 months ago | (#46792031)

I don't care if people know that the average person in my city walks a thousand steps a day,

I do. Just because data is aggregate does not make it harmless, especially when insurance company risk pools get involved. The people using this data are under no oath or legal obligation to use it in a humane, reasonable, or positive fashion. This data is slowly building the boundaries of the digital ghettos of the future.

Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46792471)

Ok, so here is a concern. IF these companies started to sell this information to health care providers or insurance companies and the data is not truly anonymous then who is to say our cost of insurance doesn't become based off of what the fitbit reports our activity as?

Accelerometer data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791299)

Accessing the accelerometer does not require special privileges in Android. Any app can do it. That's your fitness tracker right there, courtesy of Google.

FitBit and Nest (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791303)

Two companies whose products I will never, ever buy.

I would (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791309)

I've sold my junk "ba chicka wah wah" so I'd probably take that deal.

will most consumers care? yes. (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 5 months ago | (#46791327)

will most customers care? no. they're, like, customers, man.

Will it matter? (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46791331)

You start with the ones who don't care, give them discounts on their insurance premiums or electric bill or whatever. Over the course of a few years, you futz with the prices until it's less of a 'discount' and more 'the only way to approach the price you used to get'.

At that point, the ones who do care can either suck it up and wear whatever herd-management-solution you feel like telling them to, or they can pay (probably increasingly steeply) to maintain their precious little objections.

Not the same, but tangentially related... (3, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46791377)

Snapshot from Progressive Insurance. Start by giving them a break in return for some seemingly innocuous monitoring; sooner or later, they'll either start requiring it or they'll start expanding the data they're allowed to collect and sell. What, you thought they were doing all this wonderful stuff just to save you money?

Remember folks - first hit of the crack pipe's free . . .

Re:Not the same, but tangentially related... (2)

reebmmm (939463) | about 5 months ago | (#46791661)

Insurance is a weird thing: it works because you pool a bunch of risk and spread the associated costs across all your insured. At the moment, Snapshot only gives discounts to those drivers that establish that they are in fact in the lowest risk pool: few miles driven, during "safe" times, in a "safe" manner (e.g., few hard stops). There's no incentive, currently, for otherwise safe drivers to participate -- such as those that drive too many miles.

However, I consider myself a safe driver but just have too many miles. Heck, I even have a dashcam (I don't live in Russia, either). But other than my clean driving record, I don't have any other driving behavior-based way to lower my risk profile or premium. I would LOVE if Progressive mandated Snapshot, increased rates of those that had poor overall driving techniques (fast acceleration, hard braking, etc.) and lowered the rates for the rest. People whose rates increased would likely flee Progressive, but the risk for the pool would go down (and with it my premiums). Mandated Snapshot won't happen of course for lots of non-obvious reasons, though.

Re:Not the same, but tangentially related... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#46791729)

increased rates of those that had poor overall driving techniques (fast acceleration, hard braking, etc.)

Yes, you should definitely make people pay more who are poor drivers.

But the things you list may not be indicative. They could mean someone avoided an accident instead of causing one...

The next time someone behind you is about to hit you, reflect on if they should apply brakes gently or with force.

Re:Not the same, but tangentially related... (3, Insightful)

simtel (798974) | about 5 months ago | (#46791977)

If someone has to habitually hard-stop, then there is a very good chance that they're habitually driving too fast for conditions and/or not leaving enough space to stop in. This data is being used to establish the driving habits of the user - and as such the one or two 'avoid accident' stops will become outliers. It's the habits that push people into the higher risk pools, not the outliers.

Re:Not the same, but tangentially related... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46792529)

It needs a gps so it can rat on them if they are speeders. People who speed in residential areas need to have Progressive send someone out to punch them in the taint over and over until they understand that only scumbags speed in residential areas.

It's just one of the perks of Progressive.

Re:Not the same, but tangentially related... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791787)

Your premiums will never ever go down, no matter how the pool's risk is changed.

Progressive is Evil - do not buy insurance from th (1)

ChilyWily (162187) | about 5 months ago | (#46795907)

No matter how cute the 'Flo' ads are, here is what drove me to never consider them: http://mattfisher.tumblr.com/p... [tumblr.com] I do understand what you said about insurance but I think the reality of what happens behind the curtains is more revealing... and disturbing.

Re:Not the same, but tangentially related... (2)

SirAudioMan (2836381) | about 5 months ago | (#46792913)

I was going to post about this but you beat me to it! Each and every time I see those stupid Progressive commercials or similar I always think the same thing. Sure it seems innocent now, a reduction of 10-20% in your insurance rates now (woo hoo). But then next thing you know you are speeding (5-10 mph over) through a GREEN light with the flow of traffic and get T-boned. Now the person who T-boned you will likely get charged, and you will get off without a charge because you didn't cause the accident. The cop never caught you speeding so in the eyes of the law you are ok.

Now comes the Progressive monitoring device. Your insurance company has a policy (that you agreed too when you signed up with them) saying that they can pull the data from the monitoring unit at any time. Maybe it's even automatic telemetry where it get's reported in real-time. Your insurance company pays to have your car fixed, and all appears well. Six months later you notice your premiums go up drastically even through you were not at fault and were no charged by the police.

What has happened? Your insurance company has looked at the data and decided that because you were speeding you breaking the law and thus a higher risk driver! Bingo your rates increased and all because you VOLUNTARILY gave the insurance company the ability to monitor your every move. Insurance companies do NOT have your best interests in mind - their primary goal like all for-profit corporations is to MAKE money. They simply can't be trusted.

People say, yes but if I have one of those units and I never speed! I say, BS! I have very rarely met anybody who drives perfectly in the eyes of the insurance companies or the law. It's human nature to occasionally (or always) speed and break minor traffic laws.

Mark

Re:Not the same, but tangentially related... (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#46793537)

It's human nature to occasionally (or always) speed and break minor traffic laws.

Indeed. I just had an argument with a local neighborhood group. They've gone and posted the speed limit at 10kph, but they don't want people to actually drive 10kph and even came out and admitted that... but they got the idea that you set it 10-15kph below what you want people to do, so they set it at 10kph to get people to drive 15 to 25 instead of.

The problem though is that set at 10kph, with the expectation that we drive 15-25 is that legally we're doing 50% to 100% and beyond over the posted speed limit, which as you can imagine is not merely 'speeding' but 'excessive speeding' and 'reckless driving' per the letter of the law. Sure the cops are probably never going to bother with a speed trap to nail me going a measly 22kph, but an automated GPS insurance monitoring system... will probably record that I do double the speed limit habitually... and assess my premiums accordingly.

Re:Not the same, but tangentially related... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46794845)

Except that Snapshot is temporary...at least the one I got/had. They collected data (on me) for 3 months to determine my driving habits, then I returned the device.

I've had the safe-driving discount for more than 3 years now.

Real Names? (2)

retech (1228598) | about 5 months ago | (#46791437)

Is there ever a reason to actually register one of these products with your real name and info? Unless it's my bank, DL, or passport, I see no point in giving any of these companies real info.

Re:Real Names? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 5 months ago | (#46791489)

I'm sure its at least a violation of the EULA to do so, and possibly enforceable too, at least in the US.

Re:Real Names? (1)

hendrips (2722525) | about 5 months ago | (#46792663)

You know, instead of being "sure," you could actually spend 30 seconds checking Google before spreading your prejudices as fact. I can't speak for other products, but that wasn't true for my Fitbit. There's no need to give them a real name - when you register your device, they just ask for a name to call you by (which can be anything), and a valid email. They might be able to figure out my real name when I set it up to sync with my phone (which wasn't required either), but I guess I'm just not paranoid enough to mind.

Re:Real Names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46794351)

They don't even need your phone. All they need is to cross-reference the IP address your nest phones home from with web activity from that same IP address and if anyone has a ton of identifying information associated with IP addresses, it is google.

Re:Real Names? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 months ago | (#46791535)

Is there ever a reason to actually register one of these products with your real name and info? Unless it's my bank, DL, or passport, I see no point in giving any of these companies real info.

Nope. Rusty Shackleford every time.

Re:Real Names? (1)

kpainter (901021) | about 5 months ago | (#46792115)

Is there ever a reason to actually register one of these products with your real name and info? Unless it's my bank, DL, or passport, I see no point in giving any of these companies real info.

Nope. Rusty Shackleford every time.

I use Giles Wigglesworth

Re:Real Names? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46792533)

I always register as Ron Jeremy, Movie Star...

Re:Real Names? (1)

plover (150551) | about 5 months ago | (#46793069)

Password: hedgehog, no doubt.

Re:Real Names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46794383)

You are better off using a really common name so as to get lost in the data. Using a relatively unique name, especially if you use it consistently makes, it easy to unmask you because all it takes is one accidental association of your real identity with the fake name and now the Big Data guys can really narrow down who it is behind all the other uses of that rare fake name.

There are firstname and surname frequencies tables out there, if you look hard enough you can even find them based on locality. So Los Angeles might have Maria Rodriguez as the most common name while Boston might have John Smith as the most common name.

Re:Real Names? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 5 months ago | (#46795395)

I would agree, but "Rusty Shackleford" is the alias of "Dale Gribble" from "King of the Hill." So, being used as the "non-name name" on a show that millions of people watched for over a decade may lead to a lot of other people also using it.

Similar to how "Doe" is a pretty rare real last name, but very common in aliases.

Yes, I care (1)

Yakasha (42321) | about 5 months ago | (#46791511)

Got a FitBit for christmas.

Now its in the trash.
Pen & paper don't spy on me anymore when I record my workouts & food.
The pencils though... Haven't figured out how to stop them yet...

Re:Yes, I care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791811)

Fitbit is pushing the devices to the companies that manage health care, generally this is the employers.

They then ask you to wear it and set targets of step counts for which they generally either give you a discount on your health care and/or give you extra HCA money.

The part about managing their health care dollars is mostly about making sure the plans members (the companies employees) do the right things to keep themselves healthy, ie don't be too lazy.

Re:Yes, I care (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#46792395)

It's hard for the pencils to spy on you when you smash their tiny graphite hearts.

Re:Yes, I care (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46792541)

That was really stupid. only a moron would throw it away, you could have easily got $50 on craigslist for it.

Re:Yes, I care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46792963)

That was really stupid. only a moron would throw it away, you could have easily got $50 on craigslist for it.

My time is worth $400 an hour.

Throwing it away cost me less than selling it.

Re:Yes, I care (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46793695)

That was really stupid. only a moron would throw it away, you could have easily got $50 on craigslist for it.

My time is worth $400 an hour.

Throwing it away cost me less than selling it.

Under which project code did you bill your time for this Slashdot post?

Re:Yes, I care (1)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 5 months ago | (#46794185)

I would have paid to watch him smash it!

Everyone who can spy on you, will (2)

guanxi (216397) | about 5 months ago | (#46791533)

Isn't it obvious at this point that everyone who can spy on you, will? There is no legal regulation, or simple pragmatic or moral restraint.

Remember Obama saying about the NSA, 'maybe just because we can gather some data doesn't mean we should' (paraphrased). It doesn't seem like others are even thinking about it, except Mozilla.

Re:Everyone who can spy on you, will (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 5 months ago | (#46791677)

Isn't it obvious at this point that everyone who can spy on you, will? There is no legal regulation, or simple pragmatic or moral restraint.

Remember Obama saying about the NSA, 'maybe just because we can gather some data doesn't mean we should' (paraphrased). It doesn't seem like others are even thinking about it, except Mozilla.

And the EU... but yeah, Mozilla, EFF, FSF are the primary private entities working for privacy.

Re:Everyone who can spy on you, will (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791723)

The EU just gave corporations the right to sue against laws. They're not even trying to look like a democracy anymore.

Re:Everyone who can spy on you, will (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46792073)

... The guy with a gmail address think mozilla doesn't sell him down the river? Seriously?

Who pays Mozilla to use them as the default search engine ... Which I turn harvests every bit of data possible.

Re:Everyone who can spy on you, will (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 5 months ago | (#46796183)

... The guy with a gmail address think mozilla doesn't sell him down the river? Seriously?

Correction, the guy with a private gmail address who also happens to be a Mozillian... No, he really, doesn't see that happening :)
Regarding the gmail address, I do wish I could easily migrate, but gmail is just too convenient at this point.
(Maybe I'll migrate someday).

Who pays Mozilla to use them as the default search engine ... Which I turn harvests every bit of data possible.

Well, there is a reason why in Firefox you search using the search-bar and not using the address bar. At least not everything doesn't get streamed to google.
Either way, the labs projects I've heard about seems to focus more on empowering users to decide what data to share. Which could be a win-win, I mean, let's not forget that sharing metadata can also be in the users interest (personalized search, or personalized news, etc...).

Either way. I have no doubts Mozillas intentions are pure. But you have to be pragmatic and make compromises, you can always improve the situation later...

Re:Everyone who can spy on you, will (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791779)

The only people who can write / amend privacy laws are politicians.

And the companies that would be restricted by any tightening of such laws donate much more money to political parties than you & I ever will.

Look, there it is again! The "Internet of Things" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791545)

Or should I say #IoT
Brought to you by the same losers that want you to embrace the cloud. There's got to be a certain special generation of freaks behind this nonsense. Where did these kids go to school? Stupid Land Academy? University of Retard?
Your guess is as good as mine. Where ever it was, I'm sure they have a Masters of Maker Diploma with a major in 3D printing.

Re:Look, there it is again! The "Internet of Thing (1)

plover (150551) | about 5 months ago | (#46793085)

Many Interneted Thingies work fine on your own cloud. You can find alternatives that don't feed the big Googly database, but you have to shop carefully. Fitbit and Nest don't give you the option; but some of the home automation systems like Vera need no clouds at all.

Overcollection (2)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#46791557)

The trouble with these things is that they want to "phone home" too much. For energy conservation, Nest talks to a Nest, Inc. server and tells it too much. The info it needs (outside temp, power grid load status) is freely available from read-only web sites. (Given a ZIP code, the National Weather Service site will return info in XML.) But no, it has to talk to the "cloud" and give out personal information. That's totally unnecessary.

Re:Overcollection (3, Informative)

Fruit (31966) | about 5 months ago | (#46795345)

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.

My conventional setback will have to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46791749)

My conventional setback thermostat allows for all the flexibility, including by-the-day scheduling, that I need. Heating season or AC season. Who needs an AI algorithm to decide my schedule? It does not self-adjust for DST, but it only shares its data with me. Even controls the whole-house humidifier. Nest products seem to be trojan horses for their real purpose: beaming personal information to the mother ship.

Might? (3, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#46791995)

I'm already seeing ads for managers offering to sell me this information.

I'm not sure you realize that it's already being marketed, not "will be" marketed.

Saw this with SkyZone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46792219)

Saw this with SkyZone too. My kid got invited to a birthday party there. After driving an hour out into the middle of nowhere, I found out they make you sign a wavier. No surprise there. There's a steady stream injuries, bleeding kids, and bandaids being doled out. But buried in that wavier is permission to photograph and video tape your kid, and to use it for advertising without limitation. I quote:

...the right to photograph, videotape, and/or record me and/or my child/ward and to use my or my child’s/wards’ name, face, likeness, voice and appearance in connection with exhibitions, publicity, advertising and promotional materials without reservation or limitation.

It's right before the part where you are required to give them the right to spam your email account.

Don't sign, and they kick you out. Though first they give you a high-pressure sales pitch the likes of which I have not seen since a certain used car dealership back in the 70s. Didn't buy a car from him either. Oh they'll promise you the sun, the moon, the stars. All verbally. Not a word will be put in writing. But you are still expected, nay required, to sign their blanket contract.

You have to wonder about a business that doesn't care about bad publicity, about losing money, about upsetting kids let alone the parents... All in the name of getting everyone to sign blanket agreements. I have the distinct impression that I am not SkyZone's customer. I am their product. Unlike with Google, I do not think I will enjoy being SkyZone's product!

And no, I did not sign. I was kicked out. My kids were crying. The whole nine yards.

Consider that I dropped $800 less than a month later on a party for my son at one of their competitors who was far more reasonable about personal rights... What sort of business walks away from good publicity and all the money that it brings in the name of advertising rights?

Definitely made the right call. It's something to avoid like the plague.

Nest not selling data (3, Informative)

forand (530402) | about 5 months ago | (#46792683)

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:Nest not selling data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46795347)

what if you don't have a grid connection then? My home is solar powered (5kw PV Array) along with solar heated (hydronic baseboard heaters using hot water from the solar water heating). Do I need them to dial my thermostat down when the load is to high? Hell I don't even need them to send me a fucking bill as I'm not one of their customers though the assholes have tried (nearest power line is 5 miles/9.25k away)

This is unethical, period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46792949)

If you sell me a product, you have no business using that product to
spy on me. This is double-dipping, and it is despicable behavior on the part
of any company which would do it.

If you give me a product spying is possibly acceptable on the principle
that money must be involved somehow, sooner or later, because "free"
is a model which doesn't work.

I'll never buy a product from either of these companies,
and I intend to make sure that the people I advise
as a consultant understand what these companies are really
about.

I track my workouts with a simple stopwatch, a heart rate monitor, and
a text file.

I use a timer on my thermostat. It doesn't have an IP address nor does it need one.

All this "gotta be connected to the net" stuff is utter bullshit, and anyone who imagines
it is in any way "necessary" is a goddamned fool.

And just wait until some asshole develops a means of attacking your
thermostat remotely. You're gone for the weekend in subzero winter conditions
and you return to a house which is flooded because your pipes froze and burst.
If you think it can't happen you don't belong on this forum.

The cloud knows when I am at home? (1)

Craefter (71540) | about 5 months ago | (#46793571)

What worries me is that the movement sensor in Nest knows when you are at home. It reports this information to the cloud after which Google sells this Big Data to 3rd parties. Now how long will it take that criminal 3rd parties take such a Big Data feed from Google to plan burglaries? Did anybody think of that? Or should we just trust the ethical sense of your Big Data owner of choice?

slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46793921)

beta shit suck dick and stop redirecting

A potential misperception (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 5 months ago | (#46794437)

I'm not sure that those arguing the public doesn't care really have it right. There is an apathy, no doubt, but it may just as well stem from a sense of powerlessness, as from one of detachment. "You can't fight the Man", is an ingrained ethos of our times. If it does no good to demonstrate you care, you just move on; it's not really acceptance, it's jaded fatalism.

"INTO" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46794663)

" how Nest and FitBit are planning on turning user data IN a multi-billion-dollar business"

Americans and prepositions don't mix... Idiots.

This isn't spying (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 5 months ago | (#46795455)

Everyone with a Nest is probably already aware of their Energy Partners https://nest.com/ca/energy-par... [nest.com] program.

Instead of having your utility company cut your power in the summer when its hot out like they do some places, Nest users' thermostats pre-cool their homes in the morning to reduce energy use during peak hours as determined by the power company. This is a win-win you sign up for, not a spying act.

If you don't want Nest to know about your energy usage, just disable its wifi connection. It still works fine without it.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?