Google is in the process of bringing more Nest internal operations, and that can not happen too soon. Nest has recently been impacted by several security and privacy issues, and the most recent may be the most serious to date. Nest Cam users report that resetting the device before dropping it does not always prevent the previous owner from viewing the stream.
After you set up a Nest security camera, it's linked to your account. Only you (and anyone with your password) can view this feed. However, Nest also has the "Works with Nest" system that links products to other services. Nest users have reacted angrily when Google recently announced that Works with Nest will disappear, but that may be a good thing. Third-party integrations are responsible for the new breach of confidentiality.
The Wirecutter conducted a test after seeing a number of disturbing complaints online. Apparently, Nest Users could still see their camera feeds after a factory reset if they had been associated with a Wink hub, devices incorporating wireless smart home protocols like ZigBee and Z-wave. In the Nest world, it simply means removing them from your account. The filier confirmed with a Nest camera that, yes, Wink retains access to the camera after a reset. That's the case even if someone else installs Nest Cam on his account.
It seems that resetting the camera does not properly cut the Works link with Nest. The Nest app itself can not connect to the camera nor access its advanced features. However, the Wink app receives a stream of still images captured every few seconds. It's unclear if this issue is only for the standard 1080p Nest Cam or if the company's newest cameras, such as the Nest Hello and the IQ indoor camera, have the same flaw.
Google has now responded to the reports, indicating that it had identified the problem and that an update was being deployed to resolve it. Customers have nothing fortunately. Google's ultimate solution is to disable Works with Nest completely. The feature should be disabled in the coming weeks. In its place, Google suggests users to try the features of the Nest assistant, less powerful but more controllable by Google. Maybe this is not a bad thing, given the recent events.