Amazon Go, the «human-free» grocery store from Amazon.com, watches your every move with hundreds of cameras and sensors. And ties everything to an account with your smart phone and credit card. This is absolutely terrifying on multiple levels. Let me walk you through why and the related services that make this abomination possible.
Whether you run, swim, ski or cycle.
If you tell it, what bicycles you have.
Who you go out on a run or ride with
When you are away from your house
Where you commute to, and when
Your fitness, and whether it is getting better or worse.
When you travel, what TZ, etc.
The fact that you can infer nation-state secrets is an interesting escalation. Currently it’s the heatmap which is getting the bad press, which is part of the dataset that Strava offer commercially to councils. FWIW, the selection bias on Strava data (male roadies or mountain bikers) means that its not that good. If someone bought our local data, they’d infer that muddy wood trails with trees and rocks are what the city needs. Which is true, but it doesn’t address the lack of any safe way to cross the city.
What is interesting about the heat map, and not picked up on yet, is that you can potentially deanonymize people from it.
Like most of my friends, I use Facebook on a daily level. I use the website, the Facebook app, and the Messenger app. It should come as no surprise, that Facebook keeps track of every time you visit them through any of those means. The creepy thing is, that your friends can keep track of this too.
In the web-based Messenger, it is possible to see when a user was last active.
By creating a simple service that checks Facebook every 10 minutes, I’m able to get an accurate picture of my friends’ Facebook usage. Many people visit Facebook as the first thing in the morning, and the last thing before going to bed. It is therefore possible to get a good impression of their sleeping habits (or lack thereof).