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Google says the built-in microphone it never told Nest users about was ‘never supposed to be a secret’

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In early February, Google announced that its home security and alarm system Nest Secure would be getting an update — users would now be able to use Google Assistant on their devices.

The problem — users didn’t know a microphone even existed on their Nest Secure devices to begin with. The existence of the micrphone was never disclosed in any of the product material.

On Tuesday, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider it had made an “error.”

“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 spokesperson said. “The microphone has never been on, and is only activated when users specifically enable the option. Security systems often use microphones to provide features that rely on sound sensing. We included the mic on the device so that we can potentially offer additional features to our users in the future, such as the ability to detect broken glass.”

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