Re: Much ado about nothing
you are very naive, if you really think that "no one's forcing you". No one was forcing mandatory seat belts (never mind their benefit for now), until they became mandatory. Likewise, no one's forcing it - at least legally YET, to install a black box in your car. But the incentives are already there (a discount). At some point the discount will outweigh the non-discounted option by 10: 1 or more. At some other point (and not in the "far away future, nosir), it will be coupled with a regulatory, i.e. legal requirement. Or, to pre-empt the usual way: they will be pre-installed, and you won't be able to remove it, which will be coupled with hefty penalties (soon to be upgraded to "criminal offense"), if you dare remove it. Likewise, this shitty thermostat and other devices. At some point in the not-too-distant future, they'll be pedaled as the best thing since the electronic meter reader (which they will push upon us too). After some pedaling, it will be proven (and if no proof exists), it will be claimed, that those thermostats are "essential" to keep the energy prices down (lol, I love this argument every time the prices are hiked up even more). And since it's essential, it will also become a legal requirement to have one. You don't want one? Sure, you won't have one forced upon you. Until the next moment, when you're found out that you have a wife. And kids. And then - bingo! - you either instal it, so that kids are not subject to unhuman changes to room temperature, or they suggest, that they might de-instal your kids (yeah, I know, it would be useful at times).
None of it is really fanciful, and I'm not suggesting that Google have masterminded such a plan for a world domination. They just realize that if they put their fingers in many pies, they might reap benefits, sooner or later. Be it by peddling information about your habits to advertisers, or to the government. Purely for statistical purposes, of course, nothing personal. Unless legally bound, of course.