TiVo Stream 4K Untrusted by Google; Revocation Delinks Nest Products

UPDATE 1 (7/13 PM) Don’t revoke access yet. That may be one trigger for home deletion, given first-hand experience.

I was tipped off to TiVo potentially having inappropriate access to Google accounts. Sadly, I can confirm something is amiss (as pictured above) with the TiVo Stream 4K. Beyond mere access to information, some suspect the TiVo linkage is responsible for inadvertently deleting Google devices, groups, and even Nest homes.

As of Friday, someone who identifies himself as a TiVo rep confirmed there is an issue, while placing the blame on Google and indicating that a fix is being worked. I suggest immediately delinking TiVo from your Google account until remediation has been confirmed. Which is exactly what I’ll be doing.

UPDATE 2 (7/14 AM) Revoking an Android TV device from your account will potentially wreck havoc on your Google/Nest Home experience, including device and subscription delinkage. TiVo and/or manufacturer not getting their hardware trusted resulted in an account security alert, leading some of us to revoke access, thus surfacing the Google issue. However, TiVo knew as of at least last week that something was up and didn’t warn us. But, hopefully, they can help pressure Google into making us whole.

UPDATE 3 (7/16 PM) Self-identified TiVo rep indicates the security alert is merely a cosmetic issue that Google is working to resolve. I had begun taking steps to recreate and record the issue, beginning to end, to document for Nest engineering and the community, and it appears the security alert has indeed been cleared. However, as Nest engineering seems to suggest users are responsible for deleting their homes and with seemingly limited historical data to help us recover, I’ve asked TiVo to please communicate breadth of situation to their Google contacts.

UPDATE 4 (7/27 PM) Google is finally acknowledging what we’ve said for weeks: Revoking Android TV wrecks havoc on Nest (and Google Home to a lesser extent). I’m still hoping Nest Support can provide my Protect link IDs, but it’s seeming unlikely at this point and they’re exploring another option to assist me.

(Thanks John M!)

42 thoughts on “TiVo Stream 4K Untrusted by Google; Revocation Delinks Nest Products”

  1. I just checked my Google Account page for “Apps with access to your account” and noticed that my TiVo 4k Sttream and Xiomi Android TV streamer have identical “full access”. So could this be a a Google issue with apps on 3rd party Android TV devices? Wondering if Amazon Fire TV devices have the same. (I am delinking both the TiVo and Xiaomi apps to be safe though.)

    SEI Robotics TV SEI400TV
    Has full access to your Google Account
    Has access to:
    Full account access

    Xiaomi TV Oneday Cast Video Device
    Has full access to your Google Account
    Has access to:
    Full account access

  2. I tried to buy a TiVo Stream 4K a couple of weeks ago (because I wanted a Chromecast and it’s allegedly that and a lot more, right?) and TiVo was so utterly inept in supporting their website (and that’s the only place you can get it, and five years later it STILL won’t update my street address for my TiVo account) that I just ended up buying a basic Chromecast instead. Sounds like I dodged a bullet.

  3. I’m on to my 3rd Google Support agent, fyi. Trying to have them locate my Nest Protect IDs (or restore everything) so I don’t need to get an electrician in here. We have some problematic stuff and I’m not killing the circuit at the breaker to remove the hardwired ones to scan QR code.

  4. @Drew – I have an XGIMI MoGo Pro, and it only shows up in the “Your Devices” section not in the “Third-party Access” section. So, it’s not inherent to Android TV.

  5. @Matt – ok, good to know. Thanks.
    @Dave – I did delink those two apps (TiVo plus Xiomi), but before I did that I had checked Google Home and the only devices listed were my actual Google devices (Nest smart hub, Google Home, etc.) All the devices not made by Google are gone, from my Lenovo smart display to my Ecoboee thermostat to my Samsung Smart Things devices, etc. So there’s a lot of “bad stuff” happening at the moment it seems!

  6. OK, this is really weird. On a whim, I just swiped down on my Google Nest Hub and it still shows ALL of my devices – Ecobee thermostat, Smart Things, etc. So perhaps it’s just the Google Home app that’s messed up? I just confirmed by lowering the AC using the Nest Hub and it’s connected…

  7. TIVO can’t even fix broken guide data after a re-pack of Fox in Green Bay.

    Certainly wouldn’t trust them with my Google account.

    Can’t they do anything right?

  8. It seems my previous message didn’t post, but in that one I noted that before I delinked my TiVo and Xiomi apps from my Google Account, I checked Google Home and saw the only devices listed were for Google products (Home and Nest Hub). My Lenovo Smart Display wasn’t listed, nor Ecobee thermostats, nor Smart Things devices. Now I’m thinking it’s the Google Home app that’s having the problem, not the account, since my Nest Hub still lists all devices and they are connected to my account and working – I can control them from the Hub.

    (And thanks Matt for the info about the Android TV.)

  9. Drew, did you previously migrate your Nest to a Google account? Also, fyi, my SHIELD TV PRO doesn’t have the access TiVo did.

    3rd agent said let’s leave my stuff alone 24hrs and see if Nest app relinks to my Protects. What’s weird is I had to basically recreate my Nest Home… but my prior Protect alerts were all still there even tho the hardware isn’t. He’s also going to mention the issue to the team – I know others have called in, so hopefully they’ll see there’s several of us broken and are willing to figure out how to restore us.

    Here’s my current status:

    • Nest Home – Had to recreate. No devices present, but prior alerts present.
    • Google Home – Had to refresh because ‘something is wrong’ and all rooms/groupings are gone. Had to setup Google/Nest Home Hub from scratch again, but not my Lenovo Clock.
  10. Dave, I don’t have a Nest Home. The only Nest device I have is the Nest Hub (with the 7″ screen). Lots of Google Home speakers, plus two Ecobee thermostats, SmartThings devices, and a Lenovo Smart Display. All my speaker groups for the Google Homes are still present in the Google Home app, but only the Google-branded devices are present. (Yet on my Nest Hub I can see all devices…) Very weird.

  11. My nest wifi and nest home hub had to be factory reset. They were stuck in my deleted Google household. I’m returning my TiVo stream 4k.

  12. Revoked Tivo Stream 4K access in Google account and it removed my Google Home. In doing so it also removed my access to my Nest camera history and Nest Aware subscription.

  13. Google hands you off to Nest who hands you off to Google. Google then hands you back to Nest stating that if you cancel the Nest Aware subscription that you absolutely cannot access because, surprise, the Home to which it was attached was deleted, THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS because “nothing in Google can delete your Google ‘Home'”.

    Of course, the Google rep said he would send a transcription of that chat, but it has yet to arrive.

    So, I took my wife’s phone, released the devices that were suddenly owned by HER, then adopted them into my new “Home”. I also had to setup the Nest doorbell again, but at least I had the instruction envelope handy for the QR code.

    Anyone with Google Home devices that you no longer own should check the Google Home of anyone who was invited. Your devices may now be theirs (in the servers, anyway).

    This is an absolute shitshow.

    I finally got someone who actually listened to me at Nest. He understood that I can no longer reach my Nest Aware subscription that renews in 2021, so they’re working on getting me a refund for it once I cancel it.

    He said it was a one-time only thing, so I advised him to expect a significant number of people with this same issue and that they should setup an SOP to handle it. He said he will pass that on to management so everyone can save time in the future.

  14. Ok so in summary-
    *The manufacturer of Tivo Stream 4k is SEI Robotics (in China Of course)
    * SEI Robtics gets FULL access to our google accounts when we sign into our tivo stream 4k
    * SEI Robotics is NOT VERIFIED/ Trusted by google.
    * Revoking SEI Robotics MAY destroy Google Nest , WiFi and/or Newt devices

    Absolutely ridiculous. I have lost all trust in tivo and google ( not that I had much to begin with ). I guess this is what you get for having some crappy device manufacturer

  15. for us non Stream owners, its life as normal. I cant even count how many devices i have in google home, but I checked and they were all okay and functioning well, so its sounding like a tivo problem. But dont forget about a year ago or so, Google did a firmware update that killed lots of their own devices (including 3 of my minis and a hard reset on regular) so they are definitely without sin. Since this is a comedy blog, I have no doubt that Tivo will go out of their way to make sure that all users affected will be fully compensated (screwed) for their adoption of the 4k. I am sorry for all that this happened to and glad tivo hopefully will never update my HD unit again so it still will function. What a mess.

  16. Dave your Shield doesn’t have full access?
    My 2019 model certainly does under the listing “nvidia mdarcy”, it’s in the regular list of apps with access. Not the section with the Stream showed up as a risk.

  17. That’s a good distinction. I see it listed, without the security alert, but unclear as to rights – I do assume it’s everything. Interestingly, I also see TiVo Stream 4K down there so it’s like double enrolled via hardware manufacturer and the app itself, perhaps.

    Anyhow, I did end up having to relink my Lenovo Clock. My five Nest protects are still zombies and no longer associated with my Nest account/home. They have their old names, based on audible cues when I press the buttons, but no idea if the interconnect remains. Three are hardwired and we’ve got electrical probs here – not sure I want to pull them off without an electrician (even tho I installed them) to get the QR code to re-scan (what a dumb placement design). Doing nothing for now. Holding out some unreasonable hope that Google will put it all back for me.

  18. Another data point, my Sony Android TV also had full access, so there’s definitely something about Android TV that does it.

    I bet you it’s something like Google’s code samples asking for full access, since it simplifies the samples, and these manufacturers just used the sample code without thinking it through.

  19. I would hazard the full access is because these are Google Assistant devices and Assistant basically wants to know everything about you and write it to your account.

    Like Dave said, it shouldn’t be able to shit on your setup though…

  20. As I mentioned, my XGIMI MoGo Pro only shows up in “Your Devices” section not in the “Third-party Access” section. I have a bunch of apps with “some”, “calendar”, or “Google Play” access, but only 1 with “Full Access”, Google Nest Home in my case.

    I think the MoGo Pro is basically a stock Android TV, without any special app of it’s own. Everything on it is just Google Play store apps.

    My guess is that it’s the device specific apps that are trying to manage other apps on the device that are causing the additional access request. It’s probably not clear in the setup of these when you’re giving the special app access vs the stock Android, and I would guess that’s mostly on purpose.

    This is going to be an ugly bug, and it’s not clear if it’s on Google’s side or TiVo’s. One would assume that when you revoke access via the Google account screen, that you’ve locked out the TiVo and it cannot do anything at that point. Which would mean it’s a Google bug.

    It’s still crappy that this can happen. I can’t imagine a scenario where this is the correct outcome.

    PS: Dave – My mother has avoided upgrading her WiFi to a mesh replacing 4 distinct access points and a Ring extender, specifically because fixing some of the Ring camera’s requires a ladder to high spotlights in difficult locations. They really need a better way to recover these type of devices.

  21. This seems to be a Google problem, not a Tivo problem. Removing Sony’s full access caused my Nest “home” to become inaccessible, but the Google “home” is fine. That includes 3rd party devices and a Nest Hub and a Nest Home (the new gen mini speaker).

  22. TiVo and/or manufacturer not getting device trusted resulted in security alert, leading to user revocation (a typically sensible decision) thus surfacing a Google issue. However, TiVo knew as recently as last week that something was up and didn’t warn us.

    I’ve updated the post with what we think we know at this point and a hopefully more reflective headline.

  23. Argh… I actually relinked everything and my nest aware pro subscription was also cancelled because all my locks, cameras, and doorbell was removed…

    Now I’m having trouble having google/nest support team give back my subscription which I already renewed last wk for $120….. I’m so pissed. I should have never listened to ppl to revoke that access. Wasted so much of my time…

    Please I hope ppl have any updates if they could get their nest aware pro subscription back without having to pay again…

  24. Keep chatting with Nest Support until they offer to refund the unreachable subscription. Keep all of your chat logs with Google and/or Nest.

    If they don’t, then hit ’em with a chargeback.

  25. Nest senior support is escalating my case to engineering, and rep believes they may already be looking at things. Obviously, we want to see the issue resolved so no other users experience. But I’m also specifically asking for help restoring my Nest Protects to my account. Props to Google Nest for calling me back today to review the situation. Although I still want that fix. :)

  26. I can confirm, this happened to me. I saw this in my Google security settings 2 weeks ago (July 4th) and removed it thinking if Google flagged it, I probably should not have it on my account. Later in the morning (but did not notice until the afternoon), I received a strange email from Google Store saying ‘Your subscription was canceled’ to Nest Aware and they were sending me a refund of more money than I pay for 4 months of service (still no answer on this).

    I got in touch with Nest because my enitre Nest ecosystem was wiped out. 2 smoke alarms, thermostat and doorbell were all gone. Nest had no idea what happened and just kept telling me that no one could delete my account so I must have done it. Long story short after 7 different people, they had to send the incident to engineering.

    I finally got a call back yesterday, ofcourse I had set everything back up (including my entire Google Home setup which is significant now) and they basically said none of it made any sense to them and had no additional information for me so they would give me a few months of Nest Aware service for free for the trouble. Oh and since I was on Gen1 Nest Aware and cannot go back, now I’m on Gen2 (more expensive, not by much, but more none the less).

    I had figured that what I deleted from my account was probably to blame but did not believe it would have bricked everything like that. I didnt make the connection to the Tivo Stream 4k until I saw this article. SAVE YOURSELF DONT DELETE IT! It is crazy that Google/Nest have no idea about this a week and a half after it happened. Definitely disconcerting.

  27. So on a whim, I looked in my eero app this AM – and my five Nest Protects are still live on my network. Hopefully that means they remain interconnected, even though they’re not communicating with my app/recreated home. Also I wonder if Google/Nest can use my MAC addresses to identify my six digit registration code … should I have to factory reset. Although I’m still hopeful they put it all back.

    I’m also tempted to create a project Google ID and to document the whole thing from start to dramatic finish, should engineering not be able to figure this out. Of course, I’d host it on Google’s very own YouTube.

  28. This also happened to me a couple days ago. I got an email for Google’s Privacy Checkup. And it suggested I remove my old unused phone. While going through that process, it also showed me a list of apps that had access to my Google Account. One was something I never really used, so I removed just that one item (even forgot the name of it already).

    At some point in the day, my Nest Yale lock kept locking the door on me. After it happened twice, I loaded up the Nest app on my phone, and it was walking me through the ‘Home’ creation process. Not thinking anything of it at first, I proceeded through it, then noticed all my devices were gone.

    So I opened up a chat with Nest support, who told me they didn’t see anything on their end. While chatting I noticed I got an email from the Google Store saying my Nest subscription had been cancelled, and pro-rated refund had been issued. I asked support to escalate the issue, and they did to their engineers, who after a day said the same thing. Nothing to see, someone must have deleted it.

    Apparently they keep no logs of what goes on behind the scenes. No history of your Google/Nest devices, serial numbers, or times and dates when anything is removed or revoked.

    Not happy with the support I got, I replied back and copied Google’s CEO on the email. I got a response from Google executive branch, and then Nest’s Executive Care team reached out to me. So after they look into things, they come back with the same answers as everyone else. I must have deleted my account… Then said the following:

    “As we’ve had a bug report in the past which brought to our attention that revoking certain permissions in Security Settings under Account Settings in the Google Home app can cause this to happen, can you confirm if you perhaps revoked anything in Security Settings under your Account Settings on July 13th? Note that we’ve since updated the messaging in the app to make it clear that this action will cause your home structure to be deleted as shown in the attached screenshot.”

    My guess is there are more app out there that also have too much access to Google accounts, like Tivo’s. Stuff like this has been happening for over 6 months: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nest/comments/egheb8/my_entire_google_nest_home_was_deleted_and_i/

  29. I also have 7 Nest Protects in my home. Who are not connected to a Nest account anymore… hopefully they are still working, and communicate with one another!

    Nest Hello Doorbell, 7 Nest Protects, Nest Yale look, and a Nest Thermostat… and then all my 3rd party devices, wemo switches, smart light bulbs, etc.

  30. I was on the new Nest Aware Plus subscription when my nest devices got deleted and sub got cancelled. They kept saying they can’t refund me on the new subscription model. They said they would look into it yday, but looks like i just got a deposit of $120 pending back into my credit card. This is great. Now I can Re-subscribe plus again. Currently on the normal nest aware (non-plus plan) and it really sucks as it doesn’t have 24/7.

    Hope this never happens again.

  31. TiVo has worked with Google to clear the alert, which is a visual issue vs security concern compared to other Android TV devices.

    However, I don’t know if Google’s revocation bug that destroys Homes has been corrected though and I don’t know that Nest engineering will make those of us impacted whole. The typical response for those of you who’ve called in seems to be Nest saying you deleted your home and they have limited historic records. :/ My senior support guy Jose is awesome – he clearly understands what I’m communicating, sympathizes with my situation, and has been taking it all back to engineering. But don’t know that they’ll be able to help me get my Nest Protect IDs.

  32. After 4-5 support guys, I got a senior specialist Jewel. And she understood what I was trying to explain. My credit card currently has a pending for a $120 deposit for a supposed refund so I can resubscribe and not get double charged. No word back from them yet via email.

  33. Engineering is still looking into things on my case. If only they had a history of services added/removed from your Google account, maybe they’d be able to pinpoint which apps have more security than they should… My guess is they come back and say they don’t see anything, that someone must have deleted it – like all the other inquires said. Funny thing was I never did anything in the Nest app, or the Home app… Only the Google Privacy Checkup.

    Not looking forward to getting a ladder or a crate to stand on and resetting, re-pairing, then renaming all my Protects to my account again… If I wasn’t a DIY kind of guy, this would likely cost me a decent amount of money.

  34. Yep, I documented the sequence for Jose to pass to engineering. Security checkup, revoke TiVo, boom everything messed up. My Protects are still live on the network. For now anyway. Wondering if I should burn something to test if they remain interconnected. Hopefully gen 3 of Nest Protect has the QR code or ID printed on the perimeter. What a crap design. :)

  35. I’m going through the same process with someone from Nest support contacted via their online chat. Vented on twitter about it, and @madebygoogle contacted me to try and help. Ended with them telling me either me or someone in my family had to have deleted the home from either the Nest or Google Home apps, and that my only recourse was to recreate everything by hand.

    Here’s hoping the actual Nest support guy comes through.

  36. My story is nearly over. Google finally confirmed there is a problem beyond the Android TV security alert, related to device revocation (which we knew) that I’m linking below. But, engineering was unable or unwilling to restore my home or surface the link IDs for my hardwired Protects. Getting the detectors back in play was a mess, with devices in zombie states. Relinking was problematic, took hours, and I still see devices (that had been factory reset before linkage) vanishing from the network. However, I’m hopeful the interconnect is once again intact (assuming it was broken, no one could say).

    https://twitter.com/davezatz/status/1287855947050778624

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