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Used Nest Cams Can Allow Original User to Spy on New User Via Wink Hub (UPDATED)

Used Nest Cams Can Allow Original User to Spy on New User Via Wink Hub (UPDATED)

UPDATED – 10:37 a.m. CT – A Google spokesperson has told MacTrast the following: “We were recently made aware of an issue affecting some Nest cameras connected to third-party partner services via Works with Nest. We’ve since rolled out a fix for this issue that will update automatically, so if you own a Nest camera, there’s no need to take any action.”

A former owner of a Nest Cam Indoor has discovered that used Nest cams can allow the original owner to spy on the cam’s new owner. Unfortunately, the ability survives the official reset procedure, and there is currently no fix available for the behavior.

The behavior applies to cameras that were connected to a Wink smart-home hub by the original owner. (Via Wirecutter)

The publication reports a member of the Facebook Wink Users Group discovered that after selling his old Nest cam, he was still able to access images from the device. Using his Wink account, he was able to tap into the new owner’s feed. The Nest Cam had been connected to his Wink smart-home hub, and even after he had rest it, he was able to continue to view new images from the cam.

Wirecutter reports they also tested the “feature” and they had an identical experience as the user on Facebook. They were able to view a series of still images, taken every few seconds.

It appears the Nest Cam Indoor, Outdoor and Dropcam products don’t have a hardware factory reset option. Instead, the reset process consists of removing the camera from your account, at which point the old owner should no longer have access to the device. The Wink account still retain the old access.

Users who have purchased used Nest cameras would have no way of knowing whether or not the original owner had connected it to a Wink account.

Wirecutter says the Google-owned Nest hasn’t responded to their request for comment.

Our advice is to be careful when buying any used Nest cams, and to unplug any second-hand Nest cams you already have purchased. It’s really a good idea to refrain from buying any type of used cams made by any manufacturer, or from buying any cams that are marked as “returned” or “refurbished” by any retailer.