Why Amazon knows so much about you

Clicking on another file reveals 2,670 product searches I had carried out within its store since 2017. There are more than 60 supplementary columns for each one, containing information such as what device I’d been using, how many items I subsequently clicked on, and a string of numbers that hint at my location.

One spreadsheet actually triggers a warning message saying it is too big for my software to handle. It contains details of the 83,657 Kindle interactions I’ve had since 2018, including the exact time of day for each tap. An associated document divides up my reading sessions for each e-book, timing each to the millisecond… More here.

It’s almost tempting to give up at this point. Either accept that certain organisations know too much about you or avoid tech altogether.

Categories: Articles

2 replies

  1. Companies kept this sort of information before, that’s before the Internet, or at least as much information as was available to them. They didn’t have the ability to capture as much information quickly and easily and didn’t necessarily have the software to analyze it the way they do today.

    Remember when we used the term “paper trail”? Now it’s a digital data trail. If you interact with a company, in any way, shape, or form, you’re going to leave a trail. You can’t escape it by not buying online. Go to a clothing store and they capture all the details of what you bought. If it’s a store you tend to frequent, they have a base of data about your buying habits. Is that a bad thing? In and of itself, not necessarily. If the data escapes, especially more personal details, then yes.

    And that’s really the big privacy issue. Not that companies, organizations, institutions, and government know things about you, they always will, but that their security never seems to be enough.


  1. The new paper trail – Lost In Mobile

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