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Google Nest Parody Protest Site Holds A Funhouse Mirror Up To The Search Giant

TechCrunch TechCrunch 7/05/2014 Darrell Etherington

Google acquired Nest Labs last year, and that brought the Nest intelligent thermostat the company makes to the search giant, and rumor has it they’re now working on a range of hardware projects. A new site popped up today called claiming to be a collection of new products that focus on the user and the home, but it’s actually an activist project designed to skewer some of Google’s policies and practices.

The products listed include Google Trust, Google Hug, Google Bee and Google Bye, and each lampoons some aspect of the intersection of personal privacy and Google’s data gathering tendencies. Trust is free insurance against misuse of personal data, whereby high payouts are delivered to users for stuff like NSA accessing of records.

Google Hug is a hug-finding location-based social interaction tool. It’s designed to compensate for the fact that people don’t interact in person anymore. Google Bee is a so-called “personal drone,” which “watches over your house and family when you are away.” Finally, Google Bye takes things dark by building a post-mortem profile of a user by collecting their information and then publishing it in its entirety when someone expires.

Of course, as mentioned, none of these are real things, but are instead parts of a project built by German activist organization . The group’s stated mission is to “provoke gently” using humor, jam culture and generally poke with subversive installations and art campaigns. Google Nest definitely fits in with that modus operandi, but I definitely feel like it could be a bit more cutting if it were more sharply tuned, but it does nail the branding and imagery. Also I’ll take one of those data insurance policies right now, please.

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