Most of Nest’s Facebook Fans Dislike the Google Deal

Concerned about the prospect of data sharing, ad targeting

Headshot of David Griner

Digital appliance brand Nest may have racked up a cool $3.2 billion with its announced purchase by Google, but the brand is also feeling the heat from its fans.

Adweek analyzed more than 440 responses to Nest's announcement on its Facebook page through noon today and found that 78% of the comments were negative toward the purchase.

"What a sad sad day," wrote Nest fan Craig Steiger, who captured the sentiment of many who have responded since Monday afternoon's announcement. "Nest was such a great company. Google will destroy the Nest culture and sell the data they collect to the highest bidder. I'm taking my Nest out of service this week and replace it with one from my security company."

Specifically, several concerned commenters cited the Nest thermostat's ability to detect motion in the owner's home, which it uses to determine whether you're home or away.

"I don't want my thermostat reporting back to Google when I'm home and away and other data so they can combine it with information to serve up ads for products I don't want," wrote customer Edwin Thaves.

While the feedback was overwhelmingly negative and focused on Google potentially using Nest's wi-fi-enabled devices to collect data on homeowners—a concern that might also get traction among politicians in Washington—some commenters defended the sale and said that, even in light of recently revealed NSA domestic data gathering, fans were unfairly demonizing Google.

"Wow, really?" wrote one fan skeptical of the buyout's critics. "The government is the one you all should be really worried about and you think Google cares what ROOM you're in? My god, so ridiculous."

Likely anticipating backlash from privacy-minded customers, Nest posted a blog entry with answers to common questions about the Google buyout, including, "Will Nest customer data be shared with Google?"

"Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services," the blog post states. "We've always taken privacy seriously and this will not change."

Here's a sample of some of the roughly 350 negative replies to Nest's announcement on Facebook:

On Twitter, much of the reaction centered around privacy concerns, as well:

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."