Amazon’s Surveillance Monopoly: How the Tech Giant is Tracking Our Every Move

Amazon recently bought Whole Foods, making it the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the United States. Now, with its latest billion-dollar acquisition of PillPack, a pharmacy startup that delivers prescriptions to customers’ doors, Amazon will also become one of the biggest health care companies in the country — an industry with annual revenues of $3 trillion and profits that dwarf those of Apple and Microsoft combined.

A Brief History

In 1994, 24-year-old Jeff Bezos started Amazon as an online bookstore. Over 20 years later, the company has grown to become the most valuable public company in America. Not surprisingly, Bezos has made some shrewd deals along the way. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion and purchased Ring last year for a reported $1 billion price tag.

How The Company Tracks Us

With today’s technology, everything we do in our daily lives can be monitored. Amazon has patented at least 59 different devices that could be used to monitor customers inside their homes, including its signature line of Echo speakers. It’s not just Alexa that could soon be keeping tabs on us – Amazon also owns Ring, which makes doorbells and camera systems equipped with facial recognition software that allow homeowners to see who’s outside their doors; Blink, a company specializing in developing small security cameras; and so-called door knock ers which let delivery drivers leave packages inside your home when you’re not there. Business Insider estimates that Amazon sells 2% of all web traffic-related products to websites like Macy’s, Pottery Barn, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger and others.

What They Know About You

With Amazon, you’re only a search or purchase away from complete strangers knowing what you want, what your kids are buying and how much money you make. Amazon doesn’t just know that you’re running low on toilet paper; it also knows when you forget to wear underwear one day last week, who took your lunch break Tuesday and whether your partner has been looking at other people in the grocery store. In many ways, through recent billion-dollar acquisitions of health care services and smart home devices, the tech giant is leveraging its monopoly power to track ‘every aspect’ of our lives ____

Privacy Concerns in Health Care

Information privacy is an issue that has been hotly debated over the last several years, with strong arguments for and against different practices. This year, a new set of regulations called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in Europe to help bolster data privacy protections for all citizens across EU member states. Despite these attempts at harmonizing privacy rules, it’s clear that the issue will remain a sensitive topic for much longer than anticipated. This paper discusses two areas where information privacy could continue to be an area of contention-in health care and smart home devices. It draws on GDPR as well as several other notable examples of when industry giants have used their dominance in one sphere to exert control over related spheres like advertising or in Amazon’s case – surveillance.

Self-Ownership vs. Restrictive Terms & Conditions

Through recent billion-dollar acquisitions of health care services and smart home devices, Amazon has leverage its monopoly power to track ‘every aspect’ of our lives.

The company implements high-tech cameras in these services with a surveillance program called Rekognition, which offers police authorities computer-based analytical tools for analyzing video footage. This allows officers to search for matches in real time, a step that would previously require long hours of manual review.

These measures will allow law enforcement to compile accurate data from just about anywhere imaginable – surveillance companies have been relying on this type of technology for years.

App Developers as a Trojan Horse

Despite this, what we’re really talking about here are modern variants of the Trojan Horse, one which Amazon hopes to leverage in their ruthless drive for even more power and profits. For instance, some of these apps may offer free experiences that exploit children or use data to create targeted ads – all with little concern for privacy. Additionally, new apps could expose our private information to hackers who want to steal it or open us up to larger vulnerabilities in our web-connected devices. We don’t know how far Amazon wants to go with its app ventures or if they’re planning on exerting control over users’ phones; one thing is clear though, this news makes Amazon sound even more like a surveillance company than an e-commerce platform.

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