Google Dropcam Acquisition Is Creepy?

It is, according to lots of folks, from news outlets to redditors to forum commenters and more. Google seems to know it, too, addressing it on the Nest Blog with this statement:

Once the deal closes, we’ll incorporate Dropcam into how we do business at Nest. That includes how we handle everything from customer support to customer privacy. Like Nest customer data, Dropcam will come under Nest’s privacy policy, which explains that data won’t be shared with anyone (including Google) without a customer’s permission. Nest has a paid-for business model and ads are not part of our strategy. In acquiring Dropcam, we’ll apply that same policy to Dropcam too.

So, is a Google Dropcam opening your doors to the search enginge advertising giant to monitor your life? Or are these folks thinking it's "creepy" concerned over nothing?

I don't think it's creepy simply because Dropcam is one of numerous options for home cameras. As such, you can easily choose not to use them.

Avoiding Google on the Internet is obviously harder since their search and mail services are so broadly used and are leading products.

I will take the opposite view (no pun intended) and say it's incredibly creepy. Google, for all the good things it provides, has an exhaustive history of utter arrogance and shamelessness when it comes to invading every aspect of our lives - even those of us who go out of our way to avoid them. They are also imminently savvy and experienced with managing and throttling the outraged responses to their outrageous acts. Of course they are going to issue a pat little statement upon this purchase saying "oh, we won't do THAT..." But Google is nothing if not the master chef of slow-boiling the collective frog that is the consuming public. Sure, there are many other camera options, but Google isn't exactly starting from scratch here. Nest is already popular, this purchase was made specifically to integrate with Nest, and Google has massive marketplace leverage and cash to generate huge sales numbers. Once the initial outcry has died down, and they demonstrate steady sales, they will start testing the waters of data gathering via this platform, too.

One thing always guaranteed to change over time - Google's privacy policies, and nearly always in the direction of wedging itself even more firmly up our, err... lives.

One thing that never changes - Google's lust to build data-driven cyber holograms of every person on earth.

Seems like pretty simple math to me.

Andrew, I don't disagree with you. I am just saying you can easily avoid Dropcam.

So, it's creepy but eminently avoidable, yes?

Of course. is eminently avoidable too. Yet what percentage of the US population defaults to it for internet searches? We even call it Googling something, all while knowing our privacy is Scroogled by going there. You know there are some Google execs who would love to achieve the same degree of complacent acceptance of being Vyoogled (if not visually, then certainly through activity patterns, etc.) After all, it's to improve our experience as consumers... we should be thanking them, right?

Will it happen? Let's hope not. But whether it's Google, the NSA or someone else, the next 10 years could be pretty revealing (ahem).

Google's search market share is 67.8%

Google's IP camera market share is ~0.0678%

Google's still a fringe player, at best, in cameras.

Here's to keeping it that way. :-)