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Why you shouldn't buy the Amazon Fire phone

Mike Elgan | June 24, 2014
It's the most effective device ever sold for harvesting the personal data from its owner

Existing Amazon data

The data harvested by Amazon's Fire phone will almost certainly be combined with data Amazon learns about you from your activity on Amazon.com -- your address, your interests (as expressed by your book-buying and shopping histories) and much more.

The big-data profiling that's possible with this data -- even if Amazon explicitly revealed what they collect -- is beyond human imagination.

I believe it's reasonable to say that Amazon's Fire phone represents a leap-frogging of the Googles and the Facebooks of the world in terms of personal data harvesting. There's nothing else like this -- no other product has gone this far in personal data harvesting.

The phone either does or could collect sounds and pictures from your life, your location, pictures of your face in different lighting conditions, all the pictures you take and all your web surfing.

Amazon is capable of storing, analyzing and recognizing all this data, and combining it with your personal information collected from your Amazon browsing and shopping over the years -- what you read, what you buy, where you live, what you watch and listen to, who you send gifts to and their addresses as well.

Because the Fire phone and Amazon are capable of the most comprehensive and aggressive personal data harvesting ever offered in any product, Amazon needs to be far more transparent and detailed about what the phone actually does, what it will do in the future and how Amazon uses and protects all this data now and in the future.

So until they do that, my strong recommendation is: Do not buy the Amazon Fire phone.

 

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