Omnipotent: Amazon, Jeff Bezos and Collecting Data

Omnipotent: Amazon, Jeff Bezos and Collecting Data

DW (2019)

Film Review

Amazon, which presently controls 50% of the US retail marketplace, relies heavily on data collection to flog its products, as Facebook and Google do. In addition to books and consumer products, Amazon also sells insurance, medication, films, TV programs and facial recognition software. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns Whole Foods and the Washington Post.

In addition to aggressively buying out competitors to maintain his retail monopoly, he also uses the massive amount of personal data he collects to suggest products for his customers to buy. .

In 2018, Bezos used his monopoly status to force the Seattle City Council to repeal a 0.7 payroll tax to provide housing for the city’s growing homeless population. Amazon, which pays virtually no taxes, provides 45,000 jobs in Seattle. About a third receive such low pay they qualify for food stamps.

Across the US and throughout Europe, the growing Amazon monopoly has led to the closure of hundreds of thousands of brick and mortar retail stores and the virtual death of numerous city centers.

As a matter of policy, Amazon declined to be interviewed for this documentary. So the filmmakers interviewed Alexa instead.


*Alexa is Amazon’s cloud-based voice activated Internet search service.

 

 

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