Google Turning Up the Heat, Installing Apps Automatically. Big-Tech Interference is Here

Google is Turning Up the Heat in some people homes in Texas and Installing Apps Automatically in Michigan.

Big-Tech interference is here to stay.

Texas’s power grid is unpleasant it's under protected and is not robust enough to manage unexpected changes. The last winter storm disabled parts of the grid for several days, causing potentially hundreds of deaths, a summer heat wave is once again threatening the grid. 

Now Texas power companies are turning to Big-Tech to turn up the temperature on some customers’ smart thermostats. Problem is, some of those customers weren’t aware that their power company could and would do such a thing — until their homes got uncomfortably warm.

One Houston family told a local news affiliate that their smart thermostat was turned up to 78 degrees with seemingly no notice other than a text sent after the fact. When they enrolled in a program called “Smart Savers Texas” — entering them in a sweepstakes to win up to $5,000 off their energy bills for the next year — these users didn’t realize that this also gave the power company permission to adjust their thermostat during high demand periods, like heat waves.

Some users report that their thermostat settings were changed to as high as 82 degrees.

Google has stated that the temperatures being changed on thermostats in some Texas homes was related to energy programs managed by local utility companies that it says are working as intended. The programs aren’t exclusive to Nest thermostats, and the users had to opt into the program with a utility provider. Google also noted that the users could opt-out at any time.

Google auto-installs "Massachusetts’ COVID-19 exposure notification app" on Android phones

Google appears to have automatically installed the COVID-19 exposure notification app for Massachusetts on some Android phones, users reported. 

Google states: The system is still only active if users turn it on.

The app, MassNotify, launched on June 15th. Many Android users said that it was silently installed on their phones without any notifications: “Ghost installed on my phone without my consent. While I believe in what this app was meant to do, installing it without so much as a notification is extremely alarming,” one user wrote in a Google Play Store review. 

The feature was “automatically distributed,” Google said in a statement to 9to5Google.

Massachusetts is the 29th state to debut an app using the Google and Apple exposure notification tool. Around 500,000 residents signed up in the first two days after its release.

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