Who in the world didn’t think this possible ..!? A bug it is. Google says the built-in microphone it never told Nest users about was ‘never supposed to be a secret’.
Of course, Big G claims the mics weren’t On at any point in time, it was just a (free; can you even start to think about the enormity of that claim from them!?) add-on, to be used only later … How trustworthy is that claim …? If you believe that, Santa, Bigfoot, the tooth fairy, etc.etc. are also real. No, no, I mean not only real but they all live in the White House.

Why did nobody take more care ..? Had nobody investigated the technicalities of the equipment ..? Probably Bystander Bugs.
… Not quite. Probably, the more weary already let the sheeple go first. [Disclaimer: I did, explicitly for this very / general security reason.]
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. [Abraham Lincoln? Not P.T. Barnum]
You can fool too many of the people too much of the time. [James Thurber]

Maybe laws are needed, to stop the gullible from their own lack of (prefrontal) brain capacity. Anyone who makes it possible to obtain, or conspires to make it possible to obtain either actively or by omission any personal information without consent, shall be fined all income and bonuses and other forms of compensation or renumeration as received over the past five years; in case of non-natural person(s) the fine shall be 10% of global turnover of the organisation and of any organisation that the non-natural person(s) are part of [to thwart jurisdiction shopping by conglomerates] payable in cash including all Board members being fined as natural persons as above.
Something along these lines.

Oh well. Also:

[Your coffers i.e. emptyness – last survivors have good winds; Porto / Foz do Douro]

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