Second-hand Nest devices could be spying on you: report

Stock photo of nest cam sitting on a table

Previous owners of Nest cams could be spying on new owners of the devices through third-party software, as reported by Wirecutter.

The problem seems to apply to devices that were previously connected to a Wink smart-home hub by the original purchaser.

A former owner of a Nest Cam Indoor discovered the flaw when he found out that he was still able to see images from the device through his Wink account, but that the images he was seeing weren’t of his own property.

He realized that he was tapping into the feed of the person who bought the device from him, through his Wink account.

The connection still continued even when he reset his Wink account.

Employees at Wirecutter tested out the flaw and discovered it to be true. They were able to see images from the device through the previously linked Wink account. They saw a series of images that were taken every second, as opposed to a video stream.

There is no way for owners of used Nest cams to know if the previous owners linked the device to their Wink account.

Wirecutter suggests that you probably shouldn’t purchase a used Nest device right now, and should unplug any second-hand ones that you currently have.

Shortly after, a Google spokesperson said: “We were recently made aware of an issue affecting some Nest cameras connected to third-party partner services via Works with Nest. We’ve since rolled out a fix for this issue that will update automatically, so if you own a Nest camera, there’s no need to take any action.”

Source: Wirecutter

Update 20/06/19: The article was updated with a comment from a Google spokesperson.