All the ways Amazon tracks you and how to stop them

Jeff Bezos has A hidden weapon: your data. While Amazon’s retail empire is built on a complex network of infrastructure and ambiguous work practicesIts success in selling depends on an intricate knowledge of what millions of people are buying and browsing every day.

Amazon has been obsessed with your data since it was an online library. For nearly two decades, the company’s chief technology officer, Werner Vogels, has been He said That the company is trying to “gather as much information as possible” so that it can provide people with recommendations. And as Amazon has expanded, so has data collection. “They sell products, but they are a data company,” said a former Amazon executive. BBC in the year 2020.

Amazon knows a lot about you. Everything you do in the Amazon ecosystem: From the thousands of searches you make on their app or website to every single click, swipe and mouse movement you make. It’s a lot of data – and this is just the beginning of it. The people who requested their data were sent from Amazon Hundreds of files, including a decade of their lives Shopping history Thousands of audio clips recorded by Alexa devices.

“The reason why shopping online through Amazon is so convenient is because the company has spent years enhancing its power and reach,” says Sarah Nelson, director of the Corporate Data Exploitation Program at civil liberties group Privacy International. “The company is in a position to collect massive amounts of data — through its shopping platform, but also through Ring cameras, Alexa voice assistants, web services, delivery services, streaming services, and many of its other business streams.” And now it’s Amazon Transition to healthcare—Something Nelson says is worrisome.

Reportedly, Amazon’s data collection puts it on the wrong side of regulators. On June 10, a The Wall Street Journal Reported data protection regulators in Luxembourg, where Amazon is headquartered in Europe, are preparing a file A fine of $425 million in GDP In response to the way it uses people’s personal data – although specific details were not provided and an Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the potential fine. Anti-competitive regulators It also looks at the company’s use of data. And governments as well To demand more data from Amazon, including information from Ring and Alexa recordings.

What does Amazon know about you?

Let’s start with Amazon Privacy Notice. At over 4,400 words, it’s no surprise that most people won’t read it, but it clearly shows what Amazon does with your data. In general, the information Amazon collects about you comes from three sources. These are: data you provide when you use Amazon (and its other services, such as reading Kindle books), data they can collect automatically (information about your phone and your location), and finally, information you get from third-parties (credit checks to see if your account is fraudulently, for example).

The ultimate goal of collecting all this data? To help sell you more stuff. Amazon will use your personal information — and everything it can learn about your likes and dislikes — to show you recommendations for things it thinks you might buy. On a larger scale, it can also learn about the most popular sellers and people’s shopping behaviour.

“Personal data about shopping is very sensitive,” says Carissa Velez, associate professor at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Ethics. “It can tell you about a person’s health status, political leanings, sexual practices, and so much more. People buy all kinds of things from Amazon, from books and movies to health-related items. Add to that personal data from Alexa, and it becomes even more worrying.”

It also uses information, such as your location, to make sure the things you buy actually reach you. “We process your personal information to operate, provide, and improve the Amazon services we provide to our customers,” the company’s privacy notice says. It also broadly outlines the legal arguments for all the data it collects.

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