Silicon Valley tech giant Amazon launched two home devices five days apart this month, questioning data privacy and how GAFAM looks to violate everyday users’ lives.
“Ring Always Home Cam” is a flying camera drone that follows its users everywhere in the house – which makes the reader feel like being in an episode of Black Mirror.
While Facebook had undergone severe backlash for privacy violation last year, Amazon seems to be trying to push harder.
Data-hungry innovations are at the heart of this new scandal within Amazon, since the company has one of the biggest cloud platforms in the world, and that the second product is a biometric device that is a hand palm recognition scanner.
Both have gotten historically bad press, especially because Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos promised back in 2013 that he would only launch drones for commercial purposes.
However, its share keeps on rising, mainly due to new lockdowns in place in western countries, where confined consumers order online and increase the company’s revenue.
A Drone In the House. What For?
“Amazon Unveils Drone That Films Inside Your Home. What Could Go Wrong?”, titled The New York Times last month.
Indeed, Silicon Valley giants keep pushing the boundaries between private and public life for all their users.
Last month, in collaboration with the then-bought Ring security system, Amazon publicly launched a flying camera, called “The Ring Always Home Cam”, in order to follow from afar any suspicious activity happening at home when one is away.
Not only this launched in a quite unfashionable manner – most of the western countries are still under stay-at-home shelters and are, in any case, away – but it also raised questions on how gathered data will be stored.
Pay with your palm
“In a country with no laws regulating digital privacy, anyone who buys this from a company with a history of privacy problems is insane,” tweeted Walt Mossberg, member of the nonprofit News Literacy Project’s board.
Since crimes have gone up after the shelter-at-home orders – although unevenly – across the country, many consumers have been expressing interest in home security, explained Amazon officials in The New York Times interview.
Ring said to the daily newspapers that the camera should be available for Christmas shopping.
With Amazon's new innovative service, Amazon One, you can leave your wallet untouched and pay with just the swipe of your palm. This is one of the most exciting technologies we've seen yet. https://t.co/cYag7GptUv pic.twitter.com/Wdz2wJXvqi
— thewhyse (@thewhyse1) October 23, 2020
The other technology, Amazon One, is scaring most of the consumers even more: Bezos’ company will soon launch a palm scanner, able to recognize someone’s veins shape, bloodstream and palm lines. This could be used for payments in stores owned by Amazon, including – most likely- Whole Foods. Market stores.
Human Rights activists are worried about that technology, since “Studies by the ACLU and MIT have shown that facial recognition software misidentifies women and people of color more frequently than it does white men, leading to concerns that the technology will disproportionately impact communities of color.”, reports Geek Wire.
Read on Alvexo: “Amazon Going From Strength To Strength”
Scandals don’t affect Amazon shares
Quite surprisingly, bad press does not seem to affect Amazon shares, where a single stock is now traded for $3,286, going up +2.47%, according to Yahoo! Finance.
This week S&P report also showed that Big tech giants have been the most solid companies on the markets throughout the year despite the odds.
Amazon has also announced it will need 100,000 seasonal workers for the Christmas season, planning on an activity surge despite likely new lockdowns in most parts of Europe. The company used this announcement as an opportunity to announce it has promoted 35,000 current employees so far in 2020.
The above content is considered to be market commentary information and shall not be perceived as independent investment research or investment advice.