Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Privacy - Amazon Go store

    The Internet is abuzz about Amazon's new grocery concept store Go (link 1, link 2) that does not have any checkout lines.

     Apart from potentially displacing hundreds of thousands to millions of grocery store workers (link 3, link 4), there also are privacy concerns. Amazon uses machine learning, computer vision, and artificial intelligence to track a customer through the store and to track what items the customer has selected for purchase. This probably means that there are cameras everywhere in the store.  The cameras watch you enter, associate your face and person with your Amazon Go application when you log in, track you around the store, and track which items you pick up for purchase. This also means that the cameras will be tracking you when you stop in front of other items that you might consider purchasing, and probably recording that information. If Amazon is recording potential purchases for marketing purposes, I hope it will be discreet in how it handles marketing based on potential purchases and not like Target (link 5).

- Henry Park

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