Amazon Is Trying To Sell You Everything (Don’t Let It)

When I ask people why they don’t mind putting their personal information and private lives online on sites like Facebook, Google’s many linked apps, or through Amazon’s personalized algorithms and in-house listening device Echo (linked to “voice service” Alexa), many say something like, “I have nothing to hide – I’m not a serial killer.”

This is missing the point. No one is suggesting that you are trying to cover up a murder or steal state secrets. I am suggesting that it might be unwise to allow these largely unregulated, personal-information-inhaling, behemoth tech corporations to know basically everything about you and to acquire and maintain positions of unprecedentedly concentrated power. We do not understand how powerful and intrusive they are because they are so far ahead of regulators (I don’t think Jeff Bezos takes as many vacation days as your average congressperson or government regulator) and privacy-related watchdog groups, which don’t have a fraction of the resources these companies have. We don’t know what we don’t know and we don’t know what they do know.

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