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New Nest users will be forced to sign in with a Google account

RIP ‘Works with Nest’

nest thermostat
Image: Nest / KnowTechie

Google has a habit of buying/starting things and then killing them off. Add one more to that tally, and pour one out for Nest.

As part of the restructuring that combined the Google Home and Nest brands into Google Nest, new customers will have to sign in with a Google account, instead of a Nest account. Google is also not-so-gently pushing existing Nest users to migrate to a Google account for a “more seamless” experience.

That push comes as Google is killing the “Works with Nest” program, replacing it with a “more restrictive” Works with Google Assistant program, as reported by Variety. That’s going to break a lot of user’s smart home setups, at least in the interim. IFTTT, short for “if this then that,” is a popular web-based service that allows easy linking of smart home functions.

Any IFTTT recipes for Nest will break on August 31, the day Google has earmarked for the switch off

Google has said it plans to replace much of the IFTTT functions with Google Assistant routines, without a concrete answer on how long users will have to wait.

We shouldn’t be too surprised at Google wanting to switch to Google Assistant as the new Nest control method. Having to only develop one smart home system will cut costs for Google. For users, the refocusing of efforts should hopefully result in an improvement of user experience.

It does bring one big question though – that of user privacy

Back in 2015 while speaking to BBC, Tony Fadell, co-founder and former chief of Nest, assuaged customer worries over the merger with: “When you work with Nest and use Nest products, that data does not go into the greater Google or any of [its] other business units.” Now, with the switching over to Google accounts for management, that segregation of user data is gone.

Just like Facebook collecting data from inside Instagram and WhatsApp, Google can now siphon up a huge data set on consumers and their homes. The addition of Nest activity to Google’s advertising business will let them micro-target ads as never before. Keep the heating on, even in summer? Expect your web browsing to serve ads for insulation or sweaters.

What do you think? Does this make you more hesitant to put a Nest system in your home? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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