If you think about the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica presidential election scandal and the release of 50 million users data (and trust me it is far more than that) it really is quite pedestrian in the grand scheme of things.
Facebook’s data is what people put out on the web either through original writing or more often through liking or sharing a meme placed by a marketing firm to judge sentiment.
You really can’t expect privacy on Facebook, since your thoughts are published by you. Now of course Facebook went a further with caching videos and writings on the Android operating system that were never shared on the social media platform, so they don’t get a free pass.
No, the biggest concern that really has not been addressed yet is Amazon.
CEO Jeff Bezos has been collecting user data for the last 20-odd years. The number of data points that Amazon has on just about every American is so wide and so deep, it makes Facebook look like a piker.
Amazon knows what we buy, what we watch, what we read, where we live and lived. And all that data is information given to Amazon with no thought that it would be used for any other purpose than to deliver diapers cheaper.
If you look at what Amazon wants to do in the future you get an idea of what data the company deems important and missing from its database.
Amazon wants to get into your home physically.
Yes it has Alexa to listen to your private conversations. I personally have examples of having a discussion with my family about a trip or upcoming purchase, which was not searched for on the web, and having ads on the topic being offered up on web pages on visited. Alexa is no longer in operation here.
So how can Amazon know how you live? They are looking at two ways of entrances.
First, It wants to have a special lock so deliveries can be brought into the home and place in refrigerators or pantries.
Second, It wants to change housekeeping. For a nominal fee — at the beginning — Amazon wants to clean your home. What it will do with that service is anyone’s guess.
Setting up an Alexa, under the pretense of being able to order cleaning supplies. Having video of the home, under the pretense of showing before and after cleaning.
Why else would Bezos being targeting our homes for his expansion? There are plenty of other avenues to pursue with far better margins, however these business lines would not capture the data that is so much more valuable. How we live.
Bezos is headstrong in trying to get into our homes — the last place where privacy should be sacrosanct — to capture that last mile of data.
Into this landscape President Trump tweeted Friday:
“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!”
Trump is still waiting for his three Federal Trade Commission nominees to be approved by Congress before he can move on this, but it will come down.
Now some will say the President is being vindictive towards Bezos because he owns the Washington Post, however once most of the public — those not living on the coasts — finds out what Amazon is doing with the data, Bezos will no long be the richest man in the world.