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Nest Cam is watching you: Google removes ability to disable status light on Nest and Dropcam devices

Google Nest is removing the ability to turn the status light off on its Nest Cams, Nest Hello and Dropcam devices when they are recording video or audio.

In the past – and still on our Nest devices at the time of writing – it was possible to enable or disable the status light on each of our Nest Cams, as well as our Nest Hello. You could enable or disable the status light for capturing video, as well as when someone was watching the camera.

Google announced a new privacy statement in May that said it would offer a “clear visual indicator when your Nest cameras are on and sending video and audio to Nest” however, and as a result, the decision to remove the ability to disable the status light has been put in place.

According to 9to5Google, Nest has emailed existing owners of Nest Cam devices and Dropcam devices about the decision to remove the disabling of the light, and the rollout has already started.

The site reports that the email says to “make sure you are aware when the camera is on and recording”, all Nest Cams, Nest Hello and Dropcams will have the status light on when the cameras are active.

It’s claimed those with the newer Nest Cams and Nest Hello will be able to dim the status light when the changes take affect and the status light will still blink when someone is watching live footage through the Nest app. Dropcam devices are said to lack the dimming ability though.

You can read our Nest Cam tips and tricks and our Nest Hello tips and tricks for how to see if you still have the ability to turn the status light on your device on or off. If the ability is still there, be prepared that it won’t be for much longer.

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