“Amazon launched a new smartphone this week. It’s called the Amazon Fire phone, and it sports some unique hardware, software and services,” Mike Elgan reports for Computerworld.

“It’s the most effective device ever sold for harvesting the personal data from its owner,” Elgan reports. “Here’s a shocking fact about Firefly: When the Firefly button is pressed, a picture and audio clip plus GPS coordinates are all uploaded to Amazon’s servers every time. Amazon retains the data on their servers. If you want it to recognize a song, it still uploads a picture. If you want to recognize a product, it still uploads an audio clip. What is promoted as a user benefit (one-button for recognizing anything) is in fact the opening of a window to let Amazon into your life (which users have already granted permission for).”

“It’s not hard to see how this data could help Amazon know you better, and in fact construct a highly accurate and detailed profile about you and your life, your family, your activities and your interests. Firefly takes data harvesting to a whole new, unprecedented level. It can harvest user data totally unrelated to the feature you think you’re using,” Elgan reports. “Because the Fire phone and Amazon are capable of the most comprehensive and aggressive personal data harvesting ever offered in any product, Amazon needs to be far more transparent and detailed about what the phone actually does, what it will do in the future and how Amazon uses and protects all this data now and in the future. So until they do that, my strong recommendation is: Do not buy the Amazon Fire phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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