Start America Does Amazon endanger democracy?

Does Amazon endanger democracy?


She only got the CD after a lot of commuting. Katharina Nocun had been shopping at Amazon for one year, now she has requested the data. „I wanted to know: what does Amazon store about me?“, Says the data protector.

50 data points each click

She had not bought much – a few books, house slippers, paint cans, files. But the digital track that left them behind was enormous: Amazon stores up to 50 data points with every mouse click. „I did not see any of the products, but I found myself, which network provider I used, and therefore from which I came in. If you print out my Amazon record, that would mean about 15,000 pages of paper. “

What is Amazon doing with all the data? Upon request, the Group answers in writing: „Information about our customers is an important part of our business and we are using data to make our Amazon products better and more convenient for our customers.“

Information power Amazon

Amazon makes its recommendations from the customers – the famous „who bought this product were interested in …“.

„For many, that’s something good, something positive,“ says Viktor Mayer-Schönberger. The Oxford University Professor of Internet Governance researches about Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and what they do with the world. Amazon’s role goes far beyond being a mere online retailer: „We have great power of information on Google and Facebook, but Amazon may have more information because Amazon asks what are our needs and preferences when we visit this online market shopping.“

The Giant from Seattle today controls around the world in the US – and ours. More and more money is spent online – and the share of Amazon continues to grow. Warns Mayer-Schönberger, „Hardly anywhere else in human history has focused so quickly“. Amazon is expanding into more and more businesses, selling insurance and medicines today, running publishers and fashion labels, paying systems and cloud services, producing its own films and television programs – and collecting data. All over.

In the sights of the EU Competition Commission

That’s why you’ve been caught others. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is currently investigating whether Amazon is taking advantage of it’s power to push smaller traders off the market. In the WDR interview, Vestager goes on to say, „If you’re traveling in so many different markets, then one important question is: how do you do that?“ The amount of the insurance policy does not depend on which unhealthy products we buy online. “

Amazon does not want to comment on the allegations with reference to the ongoing investigation, and to the contrary to its privacy policy, which prohibit transferring data from one business area to another.

Does Amazon endanger democracy?

But the fears continue: In the US, you are working on the crime hunt recently with „Recognition“, a face recognition program developed by Amazon. This can control the entire public space – in other areas of the US, this is already being tested.