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A look at the data Amazon collects on consumers through its services

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A look at the data Amazon collects on consumers through its services

As a lawmaker in Virginia, Ibraheem Samirah studied Internet privacy issues and debated how to regulate the personal data collected by technology companies. Nevertheless, he was shocked when he learned the full details of the information that Amazon.com Inc had collected about him. The e-commerce giant has more than 1,000 contacts on its mobile phone. It records which part of the Qur’an that Samira, who grew up as a Muslim, listened to on December 17th last year.

The company is aware of every search he conducts on its platform, including searches for books on “progressive community organizations” and other sensitive health-related queries that he considers to be private. “Are they selling products or monitoring ordinary people?” asked Samila, a Democrat in the Virginia House of Representatives. Samira is one of the few Virginia lawmakers to oppose the industry-friendly state privacy bill passed by Amazon earlier this year.

At the request of Reuters, Samira asked Amazon to disclose the data it had collected about him as a consumer. The company collected a large amount of information about its U.S. customers, and after trying and failing to defeat the 2018 California measures that required such disclosures, it began making this data available to everyone upon request at the beginning of last year.

(U.S. Amazon customers can obtain their data by filling out a form on Amazon.com.) Seven Reuters reporters also obtained their Amazon documents. Data shows that the company has the ability to collect amazing private portraits for individual consumers. Amazon collects consumer data through its Alexa voice assistant, e-commerce marketplace, Kindle e-readers, Audible audiobooks, its video and music platforms, home security cameras and fitness trackers.

Alexa-enabled devices record in people’s homes, and the Ring security camera captures every visitor. This information can reveal a person’s height, weight, and health; their race (through clues contained in voice data) and political leanings; their reading and buying habits; their whereabouts on any given day, and sometimes they have seen People.

A reporter’s file shows that Amazon collected more than 90,000 Alexa recordings of family members between December 2017 and June 2021—an average of about 70 copies per day. The recording includes detailed information, such as the names of the reporter’s young children and their favorite songs.

News Source : The Indian Express

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