Amazon Extending Prime into Whole Foods

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Amazon Extending Prime into Whole Foods
Short Title Inc. Acquires Whole Foods Market And All the Customer Data
Location United States
Date 2017

Solove Harm Surveillance, Aggregation
Information Computer Device, Contact, Behavioral, Identifying, Location, Preference, Transactional
Threat Actors Whole Foods Market Inc., Amazon

Affected Amazon Prime users, Whole Foods Market Customers
High Risk Groups
Tangible Harms

In 2017 Amazon extended Prime to Whole Foods Market, gaining access to all its grocery purchase information of Whole Foods customers.


Online shopping platform Amazon is known for personalizing each interaction with online shoppers, presenting products it thinks you are interested in from past browsing, searches, and purchases. So-called data decisioning is at the core of how Amazon operates. They are tailoring the information, products, and even pricing to the individual shopper with a goal of maximizing spending, shopping frequency, and retention over time. Tracking user behavior, in this case, can be seen as Surveillance.

In 2017 Amazon announced the acquisition of Whole Foods Market and extension of Amazon Prime into Whole Foods which means Amazon gains access to all the grocery purchase data from Whole Foods customers.

This means that Amazon’s already large database will be combined with grocery purchase data from Whole Foods. Amazon's trove of shopper-identified information on people includes location data, search history, online behavior history, advertisement profiles of users (based on information such as location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible physical characteristics, and income). Adding grocery purchase data and data of new users to this already large database can be seen as Aggregation.

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