Those of you with a Nest Cam smart camera may want to listen up. It looks like even when you turn it off, it’s still on. According to researchers who discovered this little tidbit, even when a user disables the camera through the Nest smartphone app, the device’s LED on-indicator turns off, but the camera continues to do its thing.
This was discovered in a recent teardown and analysis of the device’s power consumption. According to Nest Labs, there is no video data being transmitted when the camera is “off,” but the device is still effectively on. A team at ABI research discovered the power draw and found that even when it was in “off” mode, the camera still drew a 330 mA current. This indicates to the team that the camera is still operational.
“When a device goes to power down mode, you expect the current drain to drop quite a bit,” said Jim Mielke, a senior analyst at ABI Research. “In this case, the current drain only changed slightly when given the turn off command, reducing from 370 mA to 340 mA. Typically, a shutdown or standby mode would reduce current by as much as 10 to 100 times.”
The Nest Cam Smart Camera and Security
Nest Labs, an Alphabet company, designed the cam to allow users to see a live-stream video feed of their home through their smartphone. It packs in motion and audio sensors and can alert users to unusual activity through notifications.
“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,” said Nest Labs in a statement. “With that said, when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings.”
Nest also went on to say that security measures are in place to ensure the safety of video data. These measures include perfect forward secrecy, unique 2,048-bit RSA keys for each camera and 128-bit SSL encryption to make sure the data isn’t accessible.
Do those safety protocols make you feel better about owning a Nest Cam smart camera, or does the idea of an always-on camera worry you? Let us know on Google+, Facebook or Twitter or in the comments section below.