Tell your guests you have a smart speaker – Google hardware chief

Google’s head of hardware, Rick Osterloh, has said that it would be best to disclose the presence of home smart devices to guests.

Osterloh made the suggestion in an interview with the BBC after the company’s Made by Google event yesterday.

In addition to the launch of Google’s new Pixel smartphone and laptop, the company also unveiled its new Nest Wi-Fi system at the event, which serves as the backbone for an integrated smart home environment.

Osterloh was apparently caught slightly off guard by the question from the BBC interviewer.

“Gosh, I haven’t thought about this before in quite this way,” Osterloh said.

“It’s quite important for all these technologies to think about all users…we have to consider all stakeholders that might be in proximity.”

Osterloh believes it is important that unwitting guests be made aware of devices like cameras and microphones that could be recording their activity.

“Does the owner of a home need to disclose to a guest? I would and do when someone enters into my home, and it’s probably something that the products themselves should try to indicate,” said Osterloh.

Google, like many major internet companies, has been the subject of criticism over the protection of user privacy in the past.

One of the privacy features the Nest camera includes is an LED light that will be turned on whenever the device is recording.

Now read: Google launches new home Wi-Fi system

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Tell your guests you have a smart speaker – Google hardware chief