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Why it matters: Amazon's cashierless Go stores have been around for a while now, and they continue to expand across the US and even overseas to UK capital London. It seems that Amazon is now looking to increase its revenue stream from these locations, and what better way to do it than by sharing shopper data with advertisers.
Amazon confirmed the launch of a new analytics service that will share data collected by the Just Walk Out and Amazon Dash Cart technology in its Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh stores in the US.
Some of the information Amazon will be sharing with advertisers include the percentage of products (from a particular company) that shoppers pick up and then buy, return to the shelf, or purchase later. The process will be similar to the data collection/analytics used by online retail sites.
Any type of data collection activity will worry people, especially when it's shared with advertisers, but Amazon insists personal information such as a customer's name, individual browsing data, or individual session details like the time of day they shopped or the store at which they shopped will be kept private. No video or images of shoppers will be shared, and customers can opt-out of taking part on the Store Insights website. Moreover, Amazon says any collected data will be "stored in a secure zone in the cloud."
Despite its promises, some customers in Amazon's physical stores will doubtlessly feel uncomfortable knowing their shopping habits are being monitored, even if it is anonymously. The company doesn't exactly have the best reputation for respecting people's privacy.