Amazon’s Eero Acquisition is Official
Almost exactly a month after it was announced that Amazon had acquired WiFi router manufacturer Eero, the ecommerce retailer announced that the transaction has officially closed. The sum of the transaction still remains undisclosed. In “celebration” of the acquisition becoming official, Amazon chopped $100 off the three different Eero mesh WiFi router bundles.
Unfortunately, with the purchase now complete—and even after a pretty open and honest interview with Wired posted on Tuesday morning—this move doesn’t feel any less dirty. Amazon can make all the promises about how they won’t snoop on Eero users’ online activity. But the truth of the matter is they don’t really need to. They can track that fairly efficiently right now through your browsing on the service, what you’re watching and listening to on Amazon Prime, and through the intimate conversations that you have on a nightly basis with Alexa.
So, no. I don’t think Amazon will use Eero to get at consumers’ Internet activity. Rather, it’ll give them another leg up in their ever-expanding efforts to understand and dominate the smart home space.
The Amazon Echo Plus was the first step towards gathering information around what connected devices a user owns and operates within their home. As a smart home hub, the Echo Plus could easily collect data on what devices were connected to it and how they were being used—but that would only tell part of the story. To help paint a complete picture, Amazon would need to get at the heart of the networking space in the smart home—or any home, for that matter. That, of course, would be the router.
Amazon hardware executive David Limp told Wired that Eero would continue to exist and operate as it always has, just within the Amazon portfolio, similar to what the company has done with smart doorbell manufacturer Ring. “It’s exactly the same as it is today, and we have no plans to change it,” he said. “This is the commitment we’re making to customers, and if we were going to change it, the time to change it would be now.”
Eero reaffirmed that commitment in a blog posted on Tuesday, saying, “[We] have always believed everyone has a fundamental right to privacy, especially in their own homes, and we take this extremely seriously. Amazon shares our philosophy to put customer trust first, and with every new product and feature we build, we’ll continue to adhere to our guiding principles.”
Hopefully that never changes.