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Google’s $450 million ADT investment proves it’s serious about home security

Google has recently made many security-focused changes to its lineup, some of the most notable of which include a Nest Cam built into the Nest Hub Max. On Monday, August 3, Google announced another major breakthrough: A long-term partnership with ADT. According to the press release, the partnership is for the purpose of creating “the next generation of smart home security offerings.”

Google has invested $450 million into ADT to acquire 6.6% ownership, and both companies will commit $150 million for co-marketing, product development, technology, and employee training. The goal of the partnership is to provide customers with integrated smart home technology through both DIY and professional installation. It’s especially beneficial for Google, given that its own DIY home security system solution, Nest Secure, lacks the depth of sensors and accessories found with ADT’s system.

By joining forces, Google has added more than 20,000 ADT installation professionals to its potential workforce. What this means in practice is that ADT plans to begin offering Google devices to customers starting this year, with a more complete lineup coming available in 2021. Customers will likely be able to include devices like the Nest Home Hub and other smart home devices as part of their ADT security system.

Another focus of the partnership is privacy. After the rash of smart home security breaches over the past couple of years, a lot of scrutiny has been placed on companies to keep customer data secure. Google came under fire for sending recordings to third-party companies to be transcribed for machine learning, but has since taken steps to improve customer privacy by offering the ability to delete recordings. The partnership announcement states that the “complete ADT + Google helpful home security solution will utilize a
secure platform for a seamless experience that prioritizes privacy and interoperability for greater customer peace of mind and choice.”

ADT Pulse already works with Google Assistant, but the partnership likely means that added functionality will follow. Many security cameras can already stream to Google Assistant-powered smart displays, and Google’s partial ownership indicates that ADT cameras may soon be able to display directly on the Nest Home Hub and Nest Hub Max.

The partnership will likely be mutually beneficial to both companies, allowing ADT to have an increased presence on Google devices. The partnership will hopefully allow Google to address some of the flaws with its Alarm System. While innovative, the Google Alarm System is not as fleshed-out as some of the competitors. ADT’s resources could help change that.

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