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Amazon Steps Up Its Data Collection Efforts with Eero Acquisition

Amazon can now collect WiFi data through Eero, voice data through Echo and other smart devices with Alexa support, live video data through Ring security cameras, data on your viewing habits through Fire TV and Prime Video, and detailed purchase data through Amazon retail.
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Amazon has taken another step closer to data collection domination by announcing that it will be acquiring the mesh WiFi router company Eero.

In its press release, Amazon suggests that the acquisition will help customers better connect smart home devices. What it fails to mention is that this acquisition is also likely to significantly increase the amount of data Amazon has access to in the future and will potentially allow the company to monitor the internet activity of all Eero customers in real-time.

This is a huge amount of data in isolation but when you consider that Amazon also collects massive amounts of data through its other products and services, the combined impact of this acquisition on data privacy is very concerning.

Here’s a list of the main data Amazon will have access to if it starts collecting internet traffic data from Eero customers after this acquisition:

  • Real-time and historical internet browsing data through Eero: This will allow Amazon to monitor the websites you visit, the apps you use, and the time you spend on these apps and websites.
  • Real-time and historical voice data through Echo and Alexa: If you have an Echo device or an Alexa enabled smart device (such as a Kindle Fire, a smartphone with the Alexa app, or a smart speaker with Alexa capability), Amazon will be able to record and store all of your voice commands.
  • Real-time and historical video data through Ring security cameras: With some setups, this will give Amazon constant and unrestricted access to video feeds inside and outside your home.
  • Real-time and historical data on your viewing habits through Fire TV, Prime Video, and Twitch: This gives Amazon data on the movies and shows you watch, the games and streamers you’re interested in, how long you watch streaming video, and how often you watch streaming video.
  • Real-time and historical data on your music listening habits through Amazon Music: If you use Amazon Music, the company can collect data on the music you listen to, how much music you listen to, and your preferred music genres.
  • Real-time and historical data on your reading habits through Audible and Kindle: The Audible and Kindle services allow Amazon to build a detailed profile on your reading habits which includes the books you read, how often you read, the passages you highlight, and your favorite book topics.
  • Real-time and historical data on your purchase habits through Amazon Retail: Amazon is one of the leading online retailers and every time you make a purchase through the Amazon website, you give the company data which reveals your average spend per order, the types of products you buy, how often you buy, and your extended purchasing habits over time.

To put it in perspective, Amazon could use the data it collects to constantly watch, listen to, and monitor highly personal internet activity of everyone in a household that’s heavily invested in the Amazon ecosystem.

This is alarming on its own but when you consider Amazon doesn’t have the best track record with data privacy, it gets even worse. In the past, Amazon has given employees unrestricted access to Ring security camera video feeds and sent Alexa voice recordings to the wrong user.

People are unsurprisingly not too pleased about this latest development and the potential privacy implications.

A screenshot of various tweets reacting to the news that Amazon is acquiring Eero.
Source: .com – @ear_great, @pkafka, @Anechoic, and @JakeP

So, if you’re considering getting a mesh WiFi router and you value your privacy, it’s probably best to steer clear of Eero going forward.

If you're tired of censorship, cancel culture, and the erosion of civil liberties subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

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