Your secondhand Nest Cam could be used to spy on you
A Facebook user has spotted a bug that allows ex-Google Nest owners to access footage from their sold devices on their Wink Hub accounts.
A member of the Wink Users Group on Facebook – a community for owners of the Google Nest smart home device – realised that he was still able to access images from his old Nest Cam… even after he had sold it.
Read our review of the Google Nest Hub Max
The Facebook user opened his Wink Hub account to discover that, even after resetting the device, he could still see new footage from his old Nest Cam. He wasn’t able to break the connection and instead was shown a series of images taken on the property of the camera’s new owner.
Though in this case the issue was reported quickly, it’s easy to see how this bug could become a bigger problem if it got into the wrong hands. Or rather if a Google Nest left the wrong hands.
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Wirecutter tested the issue out on their own decommissioned Nest Cam Indoor by performing a factory reset as recommended by Google’s website. Unfortunately, they found that they were also still able to view footage from their Wink Hub account. Rather than a video stream, they were presented with a series of still images as the Facebook user was.
A representative for Google reached out to Wirecutter to issue the following statement: “We were recently made aware of an issue affecting some Nest cameras connected to third-party partner services via Works with Nest. We’ve since rolled out a fix for this issue that will update automatically, so if you own a Nest camera, there’s no need to take any action”.
Read our review of the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation
The issue may have been fixed for the Google Nest but this situation is definitely a reminder to be careful when buying smart home devices secondhand, especially ones with microphones or cameras that have the potential to compromise your privacy.