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Nest Protect recalled in US as Google denies invasive advertising plans

James Temperton
22 May 2014
Nest Protect
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A safety flaw in the Nest Protect smoke alarm has become the subject of government attention

Google has denied claims that it is looking to push advertising into homes via its purchase of Nest, while the US government has ordered a recall of hundreds of thousands of products over safety fears.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a notice warning that around 440,000 Nest Protect units in the US may suffer from the aforementioned safety flaw.

The Commission also advised people to stop using Nest Protect until it could be connected to the internet and receive a software update to repair the flaw.

Google's advertising practices are also under scrutiny with claims the company is looking to use Nest products to advertise more in people's homes.

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prior to the Nest acquisition claimed that the company will add advertising to the system - something Google denies.

"We are in contact with the SEC to clarify the language in this 2013 filing, which does not reflect Google’s product roadmap," a company spokesperson explained.

"Nest, which we acquired after this filing was made, does not have an ads-based model and has never had any such plans."

Available in the US for some time, the Nest Learning Thermostat finally reached the UK in April this year.

The smart thermostat costs £179 and combines internet connectivity with a variety of sensors to reduce household heating bills.

Nest was acquired in its entirety by Google in January 2014. The company also makes a smoke and carbon monoxide detector called Nest Protect.

Protect was removed from sale in April over concerns it could be accidentally silenced, sparking safety concerns that it wouldn't sound when it detected a fire.

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