Google Takes Away Status Light Disable Functionality in Nest Cameras

Google has announced that, going forward, the Nest Cameras, Dropcam, and Nest Hello Doorbell users can no longer disable the Status Light.

When the Status Light in the Nest Hello Doorbell or Dropcam is ‘On’, it means that the camera is recording all that is happening in its field of view. The main idea of the status light is to uphold user privacy by letting the user know that their actions are currently being recorded.

Google states that in order to stick to its commitment to privacy, it has decided to remove the status light disable functionality associated Nest Cam, Nest Hello and Dropcam.

As reported by 9TO5Google, users, however, would still be provided with an option to dim the lights. In the Nest Hello, the status light will turn green when the recording is enabled. In the Dropcam, on recording, status light will lit up and turn blue. In all the three – Nest Cam, Nest Hello, and Dropcam, the status light will keep blinking when the live feed is being streamed from the Nest app.

Nest Hello
Nest Hello Doorbell | Source – Nest

Since most of these cameras are used in Smart Home surveillance, it did make sense to have the option to disable the Status Light so as to hide the camera from thieves and home invaders during attempts of theft.

Thus, in case of any possible attempts of thefts, there is a very high probability that thieves could easily spot the camera in the dark if the status light were to be turned On. This may no longer keep the camera hidden from eyes of the thieves.

There has been a lot of fuss in the recent times regarding User Privacy connected with Smart Home Devices. To cite an example, one of most recent privacy concerns came out when it was found that the location data present in the User-Alexa interactions could be used to trace back to the location of the user.

Hence, at this point when the privacy protection associated with Smart Home devices are being doubted, this move from Google was the need of the hour.

This update from Google will significantly contribute to lowering the users concern associated with Nest’s cameras. The Status light, now being an indicative of a record activity at all times (cannot be turned ‘Off’ anymore) clearly stops the users from indulging any personal activity while the camera is On.

However, from a consumer perspective, there could be an initial discontent on this update. Consumers could be furious at the fact that there were no choice offered to them on whether to keep the ability to disable the status light or not.

Also, the option to dim the lights will be available only to the future customers, and not the existing ones. This leaves the existing customers with the fear of an increased risk of thieves spotting the camera during a home invasion since they can longer turn off the Status Light.