Amazon’s Fire Phone might be the biggest privacy invasion ever

“Amazon is a fascinating company, and the Amazon Fire Phone is a fascinating machine for connecting you with stuff to buy. It’s probably also the biggest single invasion of your privacy for commercial purposes ever,” John Koetsier reports for VentureBeat.

“Firefly is a seriously impressive combination of hardware, software, and massive cloud chops that delivers an Apple-like simplicity to identify objects like books, movies, games, and more, just by pointing your Fire Phone’s camera at them and tapping the Firefly button,” Koetsier reports. “Lest you noticed a common denominator to those items and get the crazy idea that Firefly is only for stuff you can buy at Amazon, it also recognizes songs (oh, you can buy those on Amazon too) and TV shows (ditto) as well as phone numbers, printed information, and QR codes.”

“Wait. How do you think it recognizes those things, including text on images, for which Amazon says it will offer language translation features later this year?” Koetsier reports. “Well, the Firefly button and the camera button are one and the same. Meaning that whenever you use the camera, you’re using Firefly. And whenever you’re using Firefly, you’re using the camera. Plus, of course, you’re turning on audio sensors that capture ambient sound. And then you’re transmitting all those pictures and sound files to the grandaddy and global leader in connected cloud technology, the company that pretty much invented what we now call big data analytics for customer insights, and the largest online retailer in the wild wild west.”

“Fortunately for you, dear consumer, Amazon has kindly consented to store all your photos, forever, in its vast cloudy server farms. How gracious Amazon is, providing that massive service for free! How lucky are you, getting all that for free!” Koetsier reports. “Probably not as lucky as Amazon.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Kevin P.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Analyst: No impact to Apple iPhone from Amazon ‘Fire Phone’ – June 19, 2014
Amazon launches shopping machine masquerading as a phone – June 18, 2014
Amazon Fire Phone’s Firefly feature: Apple’s iPhone already has it – June 18, 2014
Amazon shows ‘Fire Phone’ with 4.7-inch 3-D display to court mobile shoppers – June 18, 2014
Analyst: Amazon smartphone no threat to Apple’s iPhone, but Android phone makers beware – June 17, 2014


    1. Wow…just plain wow… I cannot begin to express my current state of incredulity. Amazon just surpassed Google in their degree of unmitigated gall, and I would have said that was an impossibility just a few minutes ago.

      I will never own one of these phones. And, although I do not currently own a Kindle device, this Amazon Fire Phone product is so abhorrent that I will never even think of purchasing one. I may even have to add Amazon to my do-not-buy list along with Samsung.


    1. Actually, the general public DOESN’T understand how these companies filter data. Our educational system does nothing to teach people about how technology actually works, and most people are not tech geeks who will read anything to teach themselves.

      That is why it is a problem when the general press picks up on something like “antenna gate”. People take any news report at face value because they are incapable of evaluating the accuracy for themselves.

      I want to know where Sen. Al Franken is with a congressional hearing to address his privacy concerns about Amazon.

      1. After a conversation with a customer I thought to myself how easy people believe lies but when told the truth you have to support it with x, y, and z facts (documented and peer reviewed too). Was the lie you were told and believed supported? No. Ugh…

      2. Wasn’t general Public a dictator of a South American Country once?
        Wasn’t he responsible for a lot of ‘disappeared people’?
        I thought general Public understood ‘despot 101’ very very well! 🙂

      1. that would require people to really be able to understand, unfortunately…..

        like love canal, only after the fact will people understand how horribly this experiment has gone awry, even the Germans actually said we only want to know your religious denomination for our Records so that we know how many of which religion exists. You know how well that went for the Jews who registered

  1. Frankly, I want Apple to build some of the Firefly mojo into their camera. It’s ridiculous that I have to open an app to read a QR code. And aiming your camera at a billboard that can recognize a phone number is brilliant.

    If Apple had come out with Firefly first, we’d all be cheering how brilliant and revolutionary it was!

  2. I’ll say it again. Amazon is an awful company. The CEO comes out for gay marriage and the last six items I bought from amazon didn’t match the descriptions. Photos were old and amazon didn’t want to refund my shipping. When companies get too big this happens. But I won’t support gay marriage at the same time! Go away, amazon!

    1. go away, Vega51!
      gay marriage is here, dinosaurs are not, and by the way, earth is not flat OR at the center of the universe, (anymore) we don’t need your support, religion is not tantamount to freedom, and…. your experience with amazon is typical, get used to it or stop using the service, which i did before i even used it (due to reports early on) Never will use google again either, since the product they sell would be me

      I for one will not support a person imposing their belief system on others and calling it some kind of “tradition” so if someone speaks about the freedom to be themselves i will support them in this action of communication, even if they FAIL on freedom of expression in other ways, intrude on privacy, and stifle competition. Bozos is an asshole that at least understands gay marriage is right, you seem to be an intelligent person who does not, at least you finally got that amazon is awful, so i give you some credence. Now get to work figuring out how gay marriage really affects you, does it negate the love you have for your wife? does it open doors you are afraid to look in? i mean personally? (read: do you love people, i mean really love people regardless of their flaps of skin?)

      If not, and you cannot understand love as being a many splendid thing, then just go away, there is a place for people who cannot consider those who are unlike themselves, it is called zenophobialand, keep going east until you fall off the edge of the earth…… the view down is breathtaking i hear……

      1. There is no such thing as “gay marriage”. Homosexualality is a social fault, simple as that. You’re unable to make it with true biological relationship due to social ineptness, so you default to being gay. What immoral and unethical relationship do we support next, brother marrying sister, father marrying daughter. Just because you say it’s here doesn’t change the fact that you are a failure at true relationships and true family.

        1. Point 1, you have assumed enough to make an ass out of your self
          Point 2, I am a happily married man who’s female wife knows i am able to carry out a biological relationship and am by no means inept
          Point 3, I believe that the taboos surrounding sex in our culture are due to people who are afraid, like you, of realizing pleasure and being aware of the care it takes to avoid pregnancy and disease.
          point 4, i feel sorry for the people in your narrow minded life, especially those who have to hide themselves in your constricted little closet. they are there, they are all around you, you don’t know who they are, but you believe you are safe, little do you know, churchgoers, bag checkers, co-workers, gee, about one out of every ten people you see are there, hiding in plain sight, look in the mirror, my guess is that you are one of those ten, scared to admit it so you plaster yourself with the dark flag of hate regarding someone feeling love for another. oh well, glad i dont have to listen to your drivel constantly, as far as social fault goes, who’s fault are you? your parents. ultimately the sad result of a “biological relationship”

          1. You’ll find no political correct left wing idiot here. I don’t care what people do on their own time. Just don’t tell everyone to pay for an immoral union. There is no such thin as marriage unless it is between a man and a woman. No one really likes a homosexual. Especially when they try to destroy traditional family values with immoral unions. Gay marriage is like saying smart idiot. It doesn’t exist by nature if it’s definition.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.