Posted by: samanthastrain19 | November 20, 2017

Could Amazon’s New AR Lead to a Further Invasion of Privacy Online?

Mashable’s article regarding Amazon’s new AR technology for purchasing home goods appears, at first, very intriguing and exciting. I immediately wanted to check my iPhone to see if I had it on my Amazon app. However, this excitement was short-lived.

I quickly withdrew my reach once I realized how invasive I already feel Amazon is at times. A search for products on my work computer will show up later on my iPhone. Clicking on a product I find on Facebook will often lead to an email from Amazon later with similar products.

With the ethical questions arising last week from Facebook’s tracking of 98 data points per user, I’m skeptical that this Amazon technology is something I would want to use, especially with the two platforms seeming so closely connected. As exciting as this new technology may be, I’m cautious of how much insight into our private lives this will give one of the world’s largest companies. Furthermore, I worry that this view into our homes may be shared with Facebook, who already knows more than enough about its users. I can’t help but think of the numerous sci-fi thrillers in which the technology paranoid person warns of these dangers, unsuccessfully, and ends up being right half way though the movie.

With the practice of getting new technology out there as fast as possible, and addressing the ethical concerns after issues arise (discussed in class last week), I think I’ll wait to see how things unfold before trying Amazon’s AR.

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