At the other end of the scale, with a completely different business model, is Apple, which claims to be on the side of privacy, too– it’s just a different kind of privacy. Something happened this week that should catch our hair on fire.
The Mincey Plantation had– but no longer– Amazon’s Echo with Alexa. I wanted to see what I could do with it and I found out. Not much. Also, I don’t like being spied upon, even if my consent is buried in a Privacy Statement somewhere. Our household is large enough that it requires a Wi-Fi mesh network. Guess which one?
We’re blessed with the delightful eero Wi-Fi system and now need an alternative. Why?
Amazon bought eero. Yes, Amazon is on a roll these days with a growing list of Alexa supported hardware all over, well, Amazon.com. I wouldn’t mind Amazon buying something I like and use if Amazon were not so sneaky about tracking customers and users.
Amazon bought Ring, too, and that is a major disappointment. Why isn’t Apple buying up all these HomeKit-like components? It isn’t as if the iPhone maker doesn’t have the money. Instead of positioning itself as the company that talks the privacy talk and walks the privacy walk, Apple gives boatloads of profits to undeserving shareholders.
Why should customers be afraid of Amazon?
The first reaction from people who know and love Eero wasn’t speculating on any of those possibilities. Instead, the overwhelming reactions were consternation, concern, and exhaustion.
Among the Axis of Evil in technology– Google, Facebook, and Amazon– the online retailer is the quiet one that works diligently to spy on customers but stay below the radar that beeps continually against the search engine giant and social media giant.
We have a shared vision that the smart home experience can get even easier, and we’re committed to continue innovating on behalf of customers
The big guys are sucking up all the creativity from the little guys. I wouldn’t mind– good for the owners who made a boatload of cash upon selling– except the buyers seem to have a misunderstanding of customers and users and I think they’re all colluding more than the Russians.
Search for something obscure on Google; something you’ve never searched for before. Let’s say, one of those nylon or neoprene back supports. Search and click on half a dozen links. Within a few days you’ll get ads pop up that offer back supports. You’ll even get email spam with deals on back supports. Do the same thing– just choose another obscure product– on Amazon and the same thing happens. That even works on Facebook.
Wait. Isn’t that good when an online retailer tailors advertising for our needs?
That also means someone knows exactly what we’re searching for and that kind of data is fluid; it has legs; it travels, and soon others know what you’ve searched for. How long before the government knows, or your employer knows, or your health insurance or life insurance company knows?
Amazon is just one leg of the Axis of Evil and if you use all three, just remember this. You were warned.