LifeHacker has a good breakdown (with the excellent title, How to Preorder Everything New and Creepy From Amazon's Latest Tech Launch) of all the things Amazon announced yesterday, and while the breadth of Amazon's smart device library is impressive, I don't even spend much time even looking at what they're releasing. Why? I have zero interest is letting Amazon into my home.
Smart devices require trust. Apple, Google, and Amazon are the big players here, and here's where I'm at:
- Apple: I have more trust in Apple doing the right thing with my data, namely in the fact that they genuinely seem to not want it in the first place.
- Google: Google very much does want my data, but Google has shown relatively responsible privacy policies. Maybe I'm wrong to trust them, but based on what they do with smart home data, I am okay with it.
- Amazon: Amazon wants my data, and they sure as shit are going to use that data for whatever they want. I have an old Echo Dot in the house that's usually muted, but my wife and I like to play Jeopardy on it, so it sticks around for that, and is unmuted for about 5 minutes per day. Even though it's muted and I never talk to it, I still get notifications on it with suggestions for things I can buy from Amazon, and unlike Google, Amazon's public statements about privacy have given me zero confidence in them.
Anyone can of course make their own decisions on privacy, and different people will have different criteria for privacy vs convenience, but this is where I stand now.