Amazon just bought mesh wifi company Eero. Oh, great.

We have an Eero system in our house; it does really good and reliable wifi distribution, including to my office in the garage. And it was nice to have a piece of home electronics that was neither from one of the great data-sucking companies like Google, nor from the control-freak companies like Apple — and also not from a no-name white-label re-badger or a giant shitty telco switch company whose consumer products arm is an afterthought.

Now Eero is to become a part of Amazon, and Amazon explains that the idea is to help the company become better at dominating the Internet of Shit, which means that it's going to go way up on both the surveillance and control-freak league tables, and take Eero with it. The company promises that it's not going to revise Eero's (exemplary) privacy policy — but this is the same company that promised it would drop Audible's DRM 11 years ago and not only hasn't done so, it also won't answer questions about why it hasn't.

And as Dieter Bohn writes in The Verge, there's more than one way to spy on your with an Eero — it doesn't have to monitor your traffic, it could enumerate the devices, and/or look at flows of data rather than content, and/or connect Eero data to the many other data-streams that Amazon sucks out of your life.

It's just a minor annoyance — yet another device I'm going to be in the market to replace with something that has no Alexa support or support for any other company's surveillance/silo strategy — but it's also a good candidate for this month's poster child for trustbusting. Companies should not be able to grow by buying up nascent competitors. This does not produce a good outcome for consumers, nor for markets. It corrodes our politics and limits our imaginations. It deters the right kind of entrepreneurs (those who want to grow by serving customers) and encourages the wrong kind (growth through providing missing puzzle-pieces to already-bloated giants).

And so: Exhaustion. It's exhausting thinking about how how rapacious big companies are when it comes to our data. It's exhausting to think about how difficult it is for independent companies to stay independent. Amazon buying Eero just feels different after we've spent the past three years realizing just how much control all these tech giants have over our lives.

Why Amazon buying Eero feels so disappointing [Dieter Bohn/The Verge]

(Image: Eero; Cryteria, CC-BY)