Amazon became the world’s most popular online marketplace by making sure customers can shop for nearly anything without leaving home. The company recently filed patents to indicate it wants to do more than just sell you the things you ask for though — it’s developing drones to drop your purchases off and then scan your house to see if you need anything else.
It has been well-reported that the company wanted to use drones for deliveries, TNW even wrote about its patent for parachuting packages. But it seems now it can’t resist the opportunity to compile even more customer data — by any means necessary.
The company’s July 25th patent document reads like something out of a classified government file from the 1950s:
Techniques are provided for analyzing data obtained while delivering items with unmanned aerial vehicles.
At what point are we going to need personal lawyers on retainer before we start agreeing to updated user-agreements? Do we really want Amazon, or any company, using surveillance footage to determine what they can sell us?
The convenience-to-privacy ratio may differ from person to person.
The 23-page document does state Amazon has plans to implement an opt-out feature and may even use a geo-fencing restriction to limit data capturing to delivery recipients only. So at least it’s aware of some of the privacy concerns consumers might have.
We’ve long known Amazon’s sales model runs on tailored product recommendations. This patent will — potentially — give it the ability to effectively send an agent to visit the recipient of every delivery the company makes.
Imagine your mailman wandering around your back yard taking notes after dropping off your sanitation bill.
You’ll want to make sure you tidy up a bit before you order anything from Amazon in the drone-filled future – there’s no telling what kind of data it’s going to gather with flying robots snooping all over the world.