After weeks of speculation, Google is reportedly buying the security camera startup Dropcam, which will allow the search behemoth another avenue into the homes of consumers. The price tag is said to be $555 million.
The acquisition, which will fold Dropcam into Google's Nest Labs, was one in a spate of recent high-profile purchases by the search giant.
Some in the tech commentariat quickly suggested that there is some wickedness inherent in the purchase of Dropcam, especially given that the Don't-Be-Evil-mottoed company already trades on the personal data of its users.
Okay, so I get why Google/Nest is buying Dropcam, but, uh, for people already creeped out by Google, buying surveillance cameras won't help— Mike Masnick (@mmasnick) June 21, 2014
Google, via Nest, acquires DropCam, and Dave Eggers' The Circle moves to non fiction— Dave Michels (@DaveMichels) June 21, 2014
Google announcing the Dropcam acquisition on a Friday evening at 5 PM is strange, almost like they know what the reaction is going to be.— Oliver Cameron (@olivercameron) June 21, 2014
Earlier this year, Google announced it had purchased Titan Aerospace, a high-altitude drone manufacturer, swooping in on a property that Facebook had expressed interest in. So what does this mean? Clearly, some worry that the company will now have the technology to see us from both high and low. Others yet will see this as a savvy business expansion by Google.
Google Nests founder Matt Rogers wasted no time in seeking to assuage privacy advocates, using the announcement of the acquisition to address possible objections:
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