Is Amazon selling your personal info: Your Questions Answered
When you type something into the search bar on Amazon, you’re likely to see an autofill option based on your previous searches. This is one of many ways that Amazon gathers information with the pretense of creating an optimized experience for you as a shopper. What you may not realize is that Amazon is connected to what you read on Kindle, watch on Amazon Prime, listen to on Amazon Music, and even the food you purchase on Prime Now.
These are all convenient services that you probably enjoy. If you have an Alexa device with any other devices connected to it, then your Amazon account probably seems to know what you want better than you do. But is that a good thing? Read on to learn about what information Amazon gathers, how they use it, and if they’re selling it to anyone else.
Does Amazon sell my personal information?
Their website says they don’t, but that doesn’t mean that your information isn’t given away to anyone other than Amazon. If you make a purchase that is fulfilled by a third party seller, Amazon partnerships with that seller will give them the information needed to fulfill the order. Many sellers on Amazon aren’t actually part of the website but use it to sell their products. Amazon may not be selling your information to these people, but they’re still getting it.
How Does Amazon Collect Information?
Most of the information that Amazon collects is information that you provide! Some ways that they do this are:
- Through your searches. Every time you search for something, that information is collected and used to suggest items on your next search.
- Through your purchases. These are basically “likes” that converted to sales. That tells Amazon that you’re interested in that product and the topic that it came from. This is even more true for purchases you make from suggestions and “daily deals” or if you click on an item from an e-mail.
- When you click “like” on a movie, tv show, music, book, or any other title from Amazon Prime, Amazon Music, or Kindle.
- When you download apps to your Kindle FireTV stick, Alexa device, or Kindle Fire Tablet.
- When you share items from Amazon to your social media pages.
- If you highlight passages in Kindle books.
- Places labeled in your photos saved to Amazon Photos.
- Likes, Albums, and other categories you create in Amazon Photos.
- Your interests, listening habits, and likes on the Audible App.
Every device that has Amazon suite apps, is made by Amazon, or apps you share to from Amazon collect information that you provide. This doesn’t mean that it’s all personally identifiable information or that you’re susceptible to identity theft. It does mean that Amazon collects an enormous amount of information from you and you authorize it.
Can anyone see what I buy on Amazon?
Not exactly. If you share your purchases, obviously people will see them. You also have a public profile on Amazon and some information such as likes and lists may be available there. You can change what is viewable to the public via the “social settings” tab on your account.
Does Amazon share your e-mail address?
The party line is that they don’t but that’s only partly true. When you purchase something, the seller gets your e-mail address. They can send you messages through Amazon’s system, and they can give out your e-mail address. However, this is frowned upon and Amazon may revoke privileges for sellers that do this.
Can I request my data from Amazon?
Yes. You can contact them and submit a request. They will send you an e-mail validation link and after you verify your information, they will send you a secure download link. Their help section doesn’t tell you if they will delete your information, only that you can request it.
Do you need help navigating this situation?
Armed with this information, it can become incredibly overwhelming when deciding what to do next. You might be wondering if you should continue purchasing on Amazon or if you should delete your account immediately. You don’t need to worry or do anything extreme. The ways Amazon gathers information is the same as many other applications you use such as social media, search engines, or your cell phone provider. If you’re not sure and you want to learn more, contact us and we help you figure it all out.