Alphabet-owned Nest Labs stands firm in its claim that its Nest camera is not secretly spying on its users.
This response from Nest comes hot on the heels of a study carried out by a research firm ABI Researh, saying that the Nest security camera somewhat keeps on recording even when the consumer already presses the "off" button.
A Nest spokesperson tells Slashgear that the near-active status of the camera is, in fact, part of the device's design.
"When Nest Cam is turned off from the user interface (UI), it does not fully power down, as we expect the camera to be turned on again at any point in time," he says.
He emphasizes in the event the camera is switched off, it entirely stops transferring data to the cloud. This suggests that it no longer detects its surroundings.
He also says the camera employs a unique 2,048-bit RSA key and uses 128-bit SSL encryption, disabling video accessibility from any Wi-Fi band.
Nest stores users' data on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company also claims it provides redundancy.
Nest also says it has an engineering team dedicated to updating its systems and keeping an eye on security risks.
"Members of the operations team are also continually keeping our servers up to date with security patches and operating system updates," says Nest.
The ABI teardown revealed that the camera draws 343 mA when powered down and when switched on, the current is up to 370 mA or 418 mA (this will depend on the resolution of the video being sent to the cloud).
Jim Mielke, ABI's vice president, notes that the current drain only changes a bit when it is turned off, from 370 mA to 340 mA. This is intriguing as a standby or shutdown mode considerably cuts down the current by up to "10 to 100 times."
This signifies, according to Mielke, that even if the user thinks that they properly turned off the camera, the gadget could still be working.