Google has acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in cash. Why so much money? Because if you are a Nest customer, the company collects a wealth of information from every room of your house. Thermostats and smoke detecters sense when you’re home and which room you’re in.
At the time of the acquisition, one week ago, Nest CEO Tony Fadell was very clear about their commitment to privacy:
“There’s perception and there’s reality, and the reality of the situation is that the Nest data will stay with Nest. Our SLA will not change, our Terms of Service will not change. Nest data will be used to improve Nest data, that’s all.”
One week later, not so much:
“At this point, there are no changes … The data that we collect is all about our products and improving them,” he said. “If there are ever any changes, we will be transparent about it.”
Next week? Who knows.
Tony Fadell talked about his meeting with Google’s Larry Page:
“We were finishing each other’s sentences and the visions that we had were just so large and so great and they weren’t scared by them.”
Former Apple CEO Jean-Louis Gassée remembers the time when Steve Jobs and John Scully were “finishing each other’s sentences.”
It’s a shame. Nest was very cool. That coolness now comes at a price I’m unwilling to pay.