EPIC to FTC: After Home Spying Reports, Google Should Divest Nest
February 20, 2019
Following reports that Google installed secret listening devices in the homes security product Nest, EPIC asked the Federal Trade Commission to require Google to spin-off Nest and to disgorge the data obtained from Nest users. It is a federal crime to intercept private communications or to plant a listening device in a private residence. In 2014, EPIC filed a complaint with the Commission regarding a related merger review and noted specifically that the "Commission clearly failed to address the significant privacy concerns presented in the Google acquisition of Nest." EPIC also said at the time that the "early termination" approval of the Google/Nest merger was surprising given the Commission's extensive consideration of the Google acquisition of Doubleclick. Both the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee have expressed interest in merger review in the tech industry.