Google Nest camera users are outraged over the company's latest decision to remove the feature that allows users to disable the camera's status light. This new update also covers Nest Hello and Dropcam. Google is packaging this latest update as part of its effort to improve privacy to its services.
In May, Google iterated its commitment to privacy. In a statement, the company stated that it wants to implement a "clear visual indicator when your Nest cameras are on and sending video and audio to Nest." The statement was towards the Nest Hub Max. Most recently, Google is extending this policy to some of its dedicated security products.
Google sent an email to its existing Nest user0ase informing them of the new update. The email reads, "When your camera is turned on and sending video footage to Google, we will provide a clear visual indicator (such as a green light on your device)."
Prior to the recent update, Google allows users to disable the status light of its cameras and doorbells. Google describes this change in feature as making the camera "less noticeable, or if the status light is too bright at night."
Some Nest Camera owners are outraged about this new update. For them, disabling the status light will give a certain sense to thief that they are not monitored. Considering this fact, users believe that the new update renders their security cameras essentially useless.
One user commented, "This is an absurd update and an invasion of my rights as a consumer. Google is directly attempting to change the way the product I have bought - and how it was advertised at the time - functions."
When viewed on the privacy point-of-view, users have a legitimate issue to be outraged. By disabling the status lights, it makes the camera less conspicuous, which is a vital factor for many monitoring devices. The fact that Google is extending the roll-out of this new update to Dropcam devices further aggravates the issue.
With regards to the latest update, Google still allows users to dim the status light once the camera is recording. There is a small caveat to this issue though. The feature to dim the status light is only limited to Nest Cams and Nest Hello devices. Dropcam devices do not have the same feature, even with the new update.
As of this writing, users are still figuring out possible workarounds on how to bypass this new feature. Some users advise not to download the new update.