Eero promises transparency in collecting analytics data following Amazon buyout

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Fresh off its acquisition by Amazon, mesh router maker eero on Tuesday promised to be "upfront and transparent" about analytics data it's collecting from Wi-Fi networks.

eero Wi-Fi mesh router


"We collect network diagnostic information only to improve the performance, stability, and reliability of our products and services, and to provide world-class customer support," the company said in a blog post. It added that it will "actively minimize" the amount of data to which it has access, and treat what it does collect "with the utmost security."

Types of information collected about eero networks include status, IP addresses, signal strength, daily speed tests, and bandwidth usage, as well as "node events" like crash reports. The goal is to optimize Wi-Fi and "inform aggregate fleet health and future product improvements."

eero promised that it doesn't have the ability to scoop browsing data, and eero Plus customers are having their DNS requests sent without customer info to a security partner, Zscaler. Plus is a $99 annual subscription plan that offers a VPN, ad blocking, threat scanning, and parental censorship tools.

Data collection by some mesh Wi-Fi routers has raised privacy concerns, given the potential for intercepting sensitive data, even if just by extrapolating from metadata. In fact the U.S. National Security Agency is known to have planted backdoors into network gear in the past, intercepting enterprise shipments to install special "beacons."

Amazon announced the eero buyout in February. Long-term plans are unknown, but one upcoming perk will be "WiFi Simple Setup," allowing some devices bought on Amazon to automatically connect to an eero network so long as an Amazon Echo is also present.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 280member
    Transparency doesn't mean you can opt out of the company monitoring your internet-life for quality assurance... bye eero
    dysamoriahodarpatchythepirateAppleExposedStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,314member
    I recall Nest saying similar things.
    dysamoriahodarMacPropatchythepirateAppleExposedStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,032member
    Why do they need to gather any information? If something’s wrong, local logs can be sent by the customer IF they want to. When I buy a car I don’t give the car manufacturer any information about its daily operation so why should Amazon get any?
    dysamoriahodarAppleExposedburnsideStrangeDayshmurchisonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,098member
    rob53 said:
    Why do they need to gather any information? If something’s wrong, local logs can be sent by the customer IF they want to. When I buy a car I don’t give the car manufacturer any information about its daily operation so why should Amazon get any?
    Modern automobiles all have what amounts to a black box recorder. Most automobiles today have either WiFi, GPS, LTE or all three. Who knows what data that black box is collecting and sending to the manufacturer. Police are already using those recorders to determine what was going on before the crash occurred. Were the brakes applied, was the vehicle speeding, was active steering happening?
    edited March 12 cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 609member
    rob53 said:
    When I buy a car I don’t give the car manufacturer any information
    HUSH don't give them any ideas
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,617member
    rob53 said:
    Why do they need to gather any information? If something’s wrong, local logs can be sent by the customer IF they want to. When I buy a car I don’t give the car manufacturer any information about its daily operation so why should Amazon get any?
    Oddly with many new cars you do. My truck tells Ford the current mileage and any error codes without me doing anything. 

    As for "information" being sent your iPhone and Mac do too, general logs and crash data etc. At least for now the Eero's appear to be sending the same type of anonymized statistics as your Apple devices are asking for.  Eero users should of course watch for any changes in privacy policies going forward but the simple fact that some data is being sent to Eero shouldn't be in and of itself cause for concern IMHO.
    edited March 12
  • Reply 7 of 20
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,152member
    gatorguy said:
    rob53 said:
    Why do they need to gather any information? If something’s wrong, local logs can be sent by the customer IF they want to. When I buy a car I don’t give the car manufacturer any information about its daily operation so why should Amazon get any?
    Oddly with many new cars you do. My truck tells Ford the current mileage and any error codes without me doing anything. 

    As for "information" being sent your iPhone and Mac do too, general logs and crash data. At least for now the Eero's appear to be sending the same type of anonymized statistics as your Apple devices are asking for.  Eero users should of course watch for any changes in privacy policies going forward but the simple fact taht some data is being sent to Eero shouldn't be cause for concern IMHO.
    You are told this by Apple and asked if you want to opt in. It’s not just a thing you have to accept as normal. That right there says something about corporate culture differences between these companies. I don’t trust Apple but I distrust them a little less than I would Eero, based on what we’re being shown here...
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 8 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,617member
    dysamoria said:
    gatorguy said:
    rob53 said:
    Why do they need to gather any information? If something’s wrong, local logs can be sent by the customer IF they want to. When I buy a car I don’t give the car manufacturer any information about its daily operation so why should Amazon get any?
    Oddly with many new cars you do. My truck tells Ford the current mileage and any error codes without me doing anything. 

    As for "information" being sent your iPhone and Mac do too, general logs and crash data. At least for now the Eero's appear to be sending the same type of anonymized statistics as your Apple devices are asking for.  Eero users should of course watch for any changes in privacy policies going forward but the simple fact taht some data is being sent to Eero shouldn't be cause for concern IMHO.
    You are told this by Apple and asked if you want to opt in. It’s not just a thing you have to accept as normal. That right there says something about corporate culture differences between these companies. I don’t trust Apple but I distrust them a little less than I would Eero, based on what we’re being shown here...
    Doesn't Eero also tell you that too? It's not necessary that you accept the analytics transfer AFAIK. I know with Google Wifi you can opt out of pretty much everything and I'm only assuming Eero's permissions are much the same.

    By the way since I don't know for certain: Was "analytics/diagnostics" data submission on your iPhone set to "On" as the factory default and you had to actively opt out or was it the other way around? I do know that ad tracking was set as on by default and you have to perform settings actions to opt out.

    EDIT: It looks like Apple default setting for diagnostics and analytics is "On". You need to actively "opt out" so not unlike Eero currently? Perhaps you could take a moment to confirm since I'm just going by Apple instructions that imply it's turned on unless you choose otherwise.
    edited March 12
  • Reply 9 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,032member
    lkrupp said:
    rob53 said:
    Why do they need to gather any information? If something’s wrong, local logs can be sent by the customer IF they want to. When I buy a car I don’t give the car manufacturer any information about its daily operation so why should Amazon get any?
    Modern automobiles all have what amounts to a black box recorder. Most automobiles today have either WiFi, GPS, LTE or all three. Who knows what data that black box is collecting and sending to the manufacturer. Police are already using those recorders to determine what was going on before the crash occurred. Were the brakes applied, was the vehicle speeding, was active steering happening?
    Another reason to keep my 2013 Tacoma! No WiFi no LTE. 
    patchythepirateAppleExposedcornchip
  • Reply 10 of 20
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 374member
    EERO does not have the authority to make that statement. Amazon owns and controls them. Amazon is the boss. 
    AppleExposedStrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    Whoever at eero said this probably won't be there very long.
    patchythepirateAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,617member
    larryjw said:
    EERO does not have the authority to make that statement. Amazon owns and controls them. Amazon is the boss. 
    I don't know that they have officially changed hands yet (closed the sale), nor do any of us know the details of the purchase agreement and what it requires from each party. 

    EDIT:
    Yes the sale of Eero to Amazon has now closed. 
    edited March 12
  • Reply 13 of 20
    After hearing the news, I dumped my eero setup (it's for sale on eBay) and went with a different system (Amplifi). Really too bad; it was a good (if not great) system; very Apple-esque and sort of what I had hoped the Airport would evolve into. 

    I still think Apple exited the Home WiFi Router market at exactly the wrong time. 
    patchythepirateAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,617member
    zoidbert said:
    After hearing the news, I dumped my eero setup (it's for sale on eBay) and went with a different system (Amplifi). Really too bad; it was a good (if not great) system; very Apple-esque and sort of what I had hoped the Airport would evolve into. 

    I still think Apple exited the Home WiFi Router market at exactly the wrong time. 
    Not a very smart move from a privacy standpoint AFAICT.

    You would have been better off with your existing Eero or even Google Wifi for that matter as neither one collects the breadth of user and browsing history as Ubiquiti does (they own Amplifi). If you're really worried about what these companies collect and how they use it you should do better research. 
    https://www.ui.com/legal/privacypolicy/#c1
    edited March 12 patchythepirate
  • Reply 15 of 20
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,106member
    I don’t trust amazon with any of my network information , anonymous or not. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,630member
    "Hello! Here is our new, transparent data policy: We're screwing you. Thank you!"
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,630member
    lkrupp said:
    rob53 said:
    Why do they need to gather any information? If something’s wrong, local logs can be sent by the customer IF they want to. When I buy a car I don’t give the car manufacturer any information about its daily operation so why should Amazon get any?
    Modern automobiles all have what amounts to a black box recorder. Most automobiles today have either WiFi, GPS, LTE or all three. Who knows what data that black box is collecting and sending to the manufacturer. Police are already using those recorders to determine what was going on before the crash occurred. Were the brakes applied, was the vehicle speeding, was active steering happening?
    A better analogy would be: we don't tell auto-makers where we drive the car we bought from them. The police can still retrieve that info, but the auto-maker has no business knowing it. Same thing with a router vendor. Not their business. Ever. They just need to worry about routing the packets and building a good product with UI that doesn't suck.
    edited March 12 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,617member
    lkrupp said:
    rob53 said:
    Why do they need to gather any information? If something’s wrong, local logs can be sent by the customer IF they want to. When I buy a car I don’t give the car manufacturer any information about its daily operation so why should Amazon get any?
    Modern automobiles all have what amounts to a black box recorder. Most automobiles today have either WiFi, GPS, LTE or all three. Who knows what data that black box is collecting and sending to the manufacturer. Police are already using those recorders to determine what was going on before the crash occurred. Were the brakes applied, was the vehicle speeding, was active steering happening?
    A better analogy would be: we don't tell auto-makers where we drive the car we bought from them. The police can still retrieve that info, but the auto-maker has no business knowing it. Same thing with a router vendor. Not their business. Ever. They just need to worry about routing the packets and building a good product with UI that doesn't suck.
    Is Eero in effect collecting data about "where you drove" your router? AFAIK they are not, nor are they the only ones not collecting data on users web travels.  One exception I do know of is the Amplifi router that the user in post 14 mentioned buying to replace his now Amazon-owned Eero. That was a bad choice IMHO from a user privacy standpoint.

    BTW, many of the newer mesh systems are much more respectful of user privacy than your typical internet provider/router combo is.
    edited March 12
  • Reply 19 of 20
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,373member
    There was a slight omission in their statement: “We collect network diagnostic information only to improve the performance [of our bottom line]”

    the problem with all of these companies (Apple included) is that as soon as they have the ability to collect information, what they collect is out of your control and you’re left with the option of trusting the company or dumping the product. Apple isn’t perfect, but I trust them a helluva lot more than Amazon. 


  • Reply 20 of 20
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    I like Eero but I'm not fooling myself into believing that they were requiring cloud accounts for the sake of consumers and reliability.   This is your network and that control and discovery should managed by you and not the provider of hardware unless you specifically pay then.   The Amazon acquisition just makes it worse.   Eero was strafing people for their information and that is to monetize that data.   In this case it was monetized by an Amazon acquisition because Amazon sees value not in the hardware but in the data and the potential to get more data. 
    watto_cobra
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