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My experience, though not with Nest, is that all Google devices require a Google/Gmail account. It doesn't need to be the same account and there are tradeoffs. Using the same account on everything leads to better integration. Using separate accounts could potentially increase security and privacy but may render some features unusable or more difficult to use. I use the same Gmail account on all Google devices but I limit the account to just that. I use different accounts for general email, financial services and other types of devices. That protects other services and devices in the event that an account gets hacked.
 

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I don't care if someone knows when I turn on my heat or lock my door or turn on a lamp.
How about if an organized crime group harvests the same data and uses it to find out when the door is accidentally left unlocked or analyzes the data to find out when you are away. They could also hack the account and use it to unlock doors or just mess with you. It has happened with a number of devices that had poor security. I've run across devices, such as security cameras, that completely stop working when the internet is lost, putting occupants at risk. The whole "cloud" thing is a scam to accumulate personal data for profit and obtain money from subscriptions. Cloud accounts and data accumulation are unnecessary for most devices and a standalone option should be mandatory for all devices unless it is opted into for necessary functions that require outside communications.
 

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Google is already too much like Big Brother. It wants to make it impossible not to be tracked and I often see changes to their products toward that goal. They do want to make it impossible for others to track people and make a big deal of it but that's just to protect their own business plan. I purchased a Nest product a few months ago. That it required a Google account and internet connection to function was bad enough. Then I found out that some of the most important functions would be disabled after 30 days unless a $10/month subscription was purchased. I couldn't return it fast enough. The replacement seemed better since an account and subscription were optional. When Rogers had their internet outage some time ago, it completely stopped working, even on the LAN it was connected to, even though it does not use the internet for local functions.
 

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If they want a fancy off the shelf consumer products like video doorbells or thermostats or surveillance cameras or smoke alarms that are simple to install and use, be prepared to give up some level of your personal data or privacy.
I don't agree that needs to be true. We have smoke alarms and CO detectors that have all the features we need. They are linked by RF so an alarm in one room sounds an alarm on the others. They were plug and play with no cloud accounts or internet connection. I can see why some people might want an app to track them everywhere they go but it's not necessary. The same goes for doorbells and thermostats and many other, similar products.

The problem is that hi-tech companies have sold a lot of people on getting cheaper devices that are financed by using and selling their personal information and the data they generate. What they don't realize is that there may be a high price to pay down the road for divulging all that information. Things like doxing, canceling, stalking, identity theft and just general lack of privacy are becoming a big issue. A bad tweet made today that may be in bad taste can get someone fired, harassed, ruin their career or potentially jailed in a few years when attitudes and laws toward that subject change. Apps and devices that track health or health care are getting people in legal trouble in some states.

What's even worse is that hostile states or countries are stealing and compiling personal information for use against foreign citizens or countries. We've already seen what misinformation and disinformation spread by hostile countries can do on social media. That's just what we see. There is a lot more going on behind the scenes.
 
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