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Google says not disclosing the microphone in its Next home security device was an 'error'

Key Points
  • Alphabet's Google said it had made an "error" in not disclosing that its Nest Secure home security system had a built-in microphone.
  • The device's published specifications did not mention a microphone, however the updated product page now mentions one.
  • Alphabet merged Nest, which had operated as an independent unit, into its Google hardware group last year.
A woman adjusts her Nest Secure alarm system. 
Nest 

Alphabet's Google said on Wednesday it had made an "error" in not disclosing that its Nest Secure home security system had a built-in microphone in its devices.

Earlier this month, Google said Nest Secure would be getting an update and users could now enable its virtual assistant technology Google Assistant on Nest Guard.

The device's published specifications did not mention a microphone, however the updated product page now mentions one.

"The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part. The microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option," Google said.

Business Insider first reported the news on Tuesday.

Nest, which Google acquired for $3.2 billion in 2014, sells video doorbells, security cameras and thermostats that automatically adjust settings based on user behavior.

Alphabet merged Nest, which had operated as an independent unit, into its Google hardware group last year.

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Key Points
  • Now that Nest is rolling back into Google, former employees feel frustrated that the split happened in the first place.
  • Former CEO Tony Fadell says that while Nest was held up as the poster child for Alphabet separating it was undoing the thing that was most essential for both companies — figuring out to make them work together.