Another week, another revelation about a company not being strictly honest with consumers about what its products do.
This time the culprit was Google, and its home security system Nest. The problem? That the Nest Guard has an inbuilt microphone. A microphone that had never appeared in any product specifications.
Google says it’s an honest mistake, not deliberate concealment, and that the existence of the microphone should never have been secret. But users will understandably still feel uneasy.
As we allow more and more devices into our homes and access to the inner workings of our lives, trust becomes an increasingly important component in our decision making.
We need to trust that these devices will do everything they say, and nothing else. Trust is at the heart of every choice we make – but if we don’t have the full facts available to us, we’re not really in control – of our lives or our choices.
Because one thing is tainted, consumers can then be forgiven for asking what other devices are holding secrets? The more instances such as Nest’s microphone are revealed, the more trust generally is inevitably diluted.
And that unease can spread from one product or service to other similar ones. Trust is at the heart of so much, and we all benefit when it is high.
And this applies to wider society too, as well as individual businesses – trust is a crucial part of driving innovation and change forwards.
Here at digi.me, we’ve always recogised that trust is key to everything, and are deliberately transparent about everything we do.
But we are also champions of trust more generally, for the benefit of all.
Empowered consumers have more choice than ever before, so they won’t engage with brands they don’t trust. And that harms all of us.