Smart home products are getting more common and more accessible, but, as recent events prove, they are far from being the completely reliable and trustworthy parts of our lives that ads and videos would have us believe. Part of that relies on companies and agents on the remote side acting more responsibly in their ability to control these devices from afar. Another part of that formula, however, also depends on manufacturers ensuring the security and privacy of their products and customers, something that Google’s Nest is promising to do better.
As consumers become more aware of the role that software plays in their lives and devices, the demand for longer software support has likewise increased. The traditional one or two-year support periods that manufacturers offer are no longer enough. But for a certain class of devices, even the three years now offered by phone makers are still insufficient.
That is why Nest is proudly announcing that its products will be receiving bug fixes and security updates for at least five years after launch. This should give buyers some peace of mind in knowing that their smart thermostats or security cameras won’t be abandoned after just a year or two. It should be noted, though, that those five years start after a specific product or model becomes commercially available, not from the date of purchase.
Nest is also announcing other improvements to its security and privacy systems. Products launched in 2019 or later used a verified boot process that ensures the device is running official and safe firmware every time it starts up. These devices are also validated by security standards recognized and used by many IoT companies, including Google.
Google also advertises one security measure that has proven to be quite controversial among Nest owners. A few years back, Google started pushing Google Accounts as a requirement for anyone with a Nest product, and it is now positioning that as a security feature. While features like two-factor authentication and Security Checkup that come with every Google account definitely help improve security, some might also see it as a single point of failure in case Google itself gets compromised or, worse, if Google itself violates its own principles.