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Used Google Nest cameras connected to the Wink hub are spying on users [u]

Second-hand Google Nest Cam Indoor models can send images of your home to the Wink hub of the camera's previous owner, but Google has announced a fix.

The Google Nest Indoor Cam (Photo: Google)

The Google Nest Indoor Cam (Photo: Google)


If you've ever wondered who buys your secondhand gear on eBay, sell them your Google Nest Cam Indoor and find out. Even if you follow Nest's instructions on how to reset the camera and remove it from your account and Wink hub, you may get images sent from the camera in its new home.

"We were recently made aware of an issue affecting some Nest cameras connected to third-party partner services via Works with Nest," a Google spokesperson told AppleInsider. "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."

According to The Wirecutter, the problem concerns using the Nest camera with a Wink hub and account.

A member of the Facebook Wink Users Group discovered that after selling his Nest cam, he was still able to access images from his old camera—except it wasn't a feed of his property. Instead, he was tapping into the feed of the new owner, via his Wink account. As the original owner, he had connected the Nest Cam to his Wink smart-home hub, and somehow, even after he reset it, the connection continued.


The Wirecutter independently confirmed the issue, though rather than a video stream, they got a series of still images.

Wink is a smarthome hub that's been on sale for many years and used for a range of devices from cameras to air conditioning.

This discovery comes shortly after Google announced the end of its "Works with Nest" progam specifically to improve security and customer privacy.

"Our goal is simple: earn and keep your trust by clearly explaining how our products work and how we'll uphold our commitment to respect your privacy," wrote Rishi Chandra, vice president of product at Nest, in a blog post.

Update June 20, 8:57 A.M. Eastern time: Google has told AppleInsider that it is rolling out a fix.