Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced
Ecobee has three smart thermostats in their line up -- the ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium, Smart Thermostat Enhanced, and the ecobee3 Lite. Their Enhanced version comes with most of the things the Premium version does, minus some things that actually make it a little better for privacy. The Enhanced version doesn’t have the built-in smart speaker/microphone, so it’s not going to be listening to you. That means it also won’t stream your music on Spotify, which feels OK to us. I mean, do you really need to listen to music through your thermostat? The Enhanced version also doesn’t come with hands-free calling or the indoor air quality monitor. Fewer bells and whistles makes it a bit better for your privacy.
Ecobee's SmartThermostat Enhanced can still do lots of smart thermostat things like adjust the temperature from your phone, sense when you leave a room to turn down the temperature, and save energy with smart algorithms. Back in 2021, Generac bought Ecobee as part of their plans to expand into the “intelligent home energy ecosystem.” So far, this acquisition doesn’t seem to have changed ecobee’s strong commitment to privacy. Here’s hoping it never does.
Wat kan er gebeuren als er iets misgaat?
Ecobee does collect personal information on you. Things like name, address, email, telephone number, online identifiers such as IP addresses and device IDs, location information, as well as things the smart thermostat learns about your home like thermal and olfactory information. That’s potentially a lot of information gathered. The good news is, ecobee says they never sell your personal data. And they don’t seem to share your personal information with third parties for targeted, interest based advertising, which is also good. So, all that data this smart thermostat collects on you probably isn’t going to be shared around the internet to target you with tons of ads to buy sweaters because you keep your house so cold all winter long (we hope).
The biggest privacy concern you’ll likely find with this smart thermostat is with the third party voice assistants you can use it with. The voice requests you make of Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri through your smart thermostat will let Amazon, Google, or Apple know more about you. But hey, Amazon, Google, and Apple probably know way too much about you already.
Ecobee reportedly also stood up to Amazon when they demanded Ecobee share more user data with them. From The Verge, “...the online retail giant asked ecobee to share data from its Alexa-enabled smart thermostats, even when the customer wasn’t actively using the voice assistant. Ecobee reportedly refused to have its devices constantly report back to Amazon about the state of the user’s home, including data on which doors were locked or unlocked and the set temperature. The reasoning being that enabling its devices to report this data to Amazon would be a violation of its customer’s trust.” Good ecobee. Bad Amazon.
Ecobee does ask users if they would like to donate their anonymized data from their smart thermostat to share with energy scientists to help “design more efficient and sustainable homes.” That seems good on a couple fronts. First, ecobee asks users to donate their data with an opt-in rather than opt-out option. Second, the goal of this data sharing is a good one, not to target you with ads, but to help scientists save the planet. Again, good work ecobee!
What’s the worst that could happen with your ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced? This smart thermostat (like the Premium version) does have built-in radar occupancy sensors that know when you are home and moving around. If that data were to accidentally leak out onto the internet through a hack or bug it could let others know when you are home, and potentially where in the home you are. That could be creepy information to have in the hands of people you don’t know…or even people you do know. This probably isn’t likely to happen. Still, good to remember it could. All in all though, ecobee is one of the best smart thermostat makers out there from a privacy perspective.
Tips om uzelf te beschermen
-Set up two-factor authentication
-If you connect to Alexa, delete your historical voice recordings from time to time, by saying “delete what I just said"
- When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data.
- Do not sign up with third-party accounts. Better just log in with email and strong password.
- Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
- Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless necessary)
- Keep your app regularly updated
- Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
- Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data.
Wat is er nodig om u aan te melden?
Account van derden
Welke gegevens verzamelt het bedrijf?
Name, address, email, telephone number, online identifiers such as IP addresses and device IDs Geolocation data Home details (like house age, number of floors, etc.); Motion sensing (i.e., “occupancy sensing”) Environmental data such as temperature and humidity as well as operational data such as temperature set points from your HVAC equipment. Inferences (created by your ecobee Device relating to your energy usage)
Biometric information (gathered from your ecobee Devices) Audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information
Hoe gebruikt het bedrijf deze gegevens?
Hoe kunt u uw gegevens beheren?
Hoe staat het bedrijf bekend als het gaat om het beschermen van gebruikersgegevens?
No known incidents in the last 3 years.
Privacyinformatie voor kinderen
Kan dit product offline worden gebruikt?
ecobee's privacy policies are generally good, but they are set up in such a way that it makes them hard to search through for key words, which we like to see to help consumers review privacy policies for words like "sell" and "children".
Koppelingen naar privacy-informatie
Voldoet dit product aan onze minimale beveiligingsnormen?
All network traffic is encrypted.
A password is required for the web portal and mobile app.
Ecobee runs a bug bounty program, which means that anyone who finds a security issue and discloses it responsibly may get paid.
Ecobee’s new thermostats are its best yetThe Verge
The Privacy Risks of Your Smart ThermostatVPN Overview
ecobee vs Nest: Don’t Overlook These 9 Crucial DifferencesThe Smart Cave
Generac Announces the Closing of Its Acquisition of ecobee Inc.Ecobee
Donate your dataEcobee
Amazon tried to coerce Ecobee into collecting private user data, the WSJ reportsThe Verge
Ecobee’s smart thermostat now supports Siri voice controlEngadget
The Best Smart ThermostatNew York Times
Generator company Generac announces plans to buy EcobeeCNET
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