Facebook is dipping their toe into the hardware space again. This time with Portal. Haven’t heard of it? Check out the video below.

The technology looks awesome. Having two kids and both sets of their grandparents being out of state, this looks like a perfect device. This video from TechCrunch shows off even more capabilities of the product that the Facebook-owned teaser doesn’t get into.

Interactive, augmented reality-enhanced bedtime stories? Cameras that auto-focus? Apps built into the camera?

Facebook has a stronghold on the the AARP-eligible social media user. This product, purely from a hardware perspective, checks a lot of boxes.

I still can’t buy it

Facebook went even as far (as seen in the TechCrunch review) as installing camera blockers and mute buttons into the device. They intentionally make it to where you can’t have an active camera on inside your house if you don’t want to.

However, Facebook doesn’t have a good track record of being a good steward of my data. Elections have been…influenced. Breaches with Cambridge Analytica happened. Even after all the scrutiny, Facebook suffered a major hack…AGAIN.

It’s a company with a vast amount of resources. It has the world’s attention, even if the world would like to quit it some of the time. With the hacks, you would think they’d dedicate more to user privacy and security.

Maybe they have? Either way, I can’t let Facebook have an always on camera in my house. The trust level just isn’t there for me right now.

What About Amazon’s Echo?

Here’s where I stand on that. Yes, it can be very reasonably argued that the multiple Echos in my house have the same vulnerabilities. And the privacy fears could be very similar. Here’s where I differ (at least in my mind):

  • If you know me, you know I’m not a big talker. Amazon isn’t getting that much data from me

  • Amazon is collecting my data to sell me stuff. Facebook collects my data to sell…my data. While both have gray areas, at least I feel like I know where I stand a little more with Amazon (even if it’s a slightly flawed outlook on my part).

What do you think about Facebook’s Portal? Would you buy one?