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December 03, 2006

Amazon and PAPA

I use Amazon.com quite frequently, so it is very interesting to analyze the "Carl's Amazon.com" in the context of the PAPA idea. When I first click on my personal Amazon page, recommendations come up based on previous purchases I have made, i.e. if I buy a lot of Jessica Simpson CDs (which I obviously do), more music like hers will be recommended or a movie she is in may be recommended. As I scroll down, I see my recent searches, purchases, what may be in my cyberspace shopping cart from my last visit, what other people bought who searched the same items as I have. None of this information is very bothersome to me, it appears to be more of an advertising ploy to expose me to different items by tracking my past purchase patters and comparing them to others with similar patterns. However, this information may go to far because if someone uses my computer and goes to Amazon.com, my page automatically pops up (I don't know how to make this not happen, I'm not very computer literate), allowing that person to view my past purchases and searches (I may not want this person to know about my Jessica Simpson bed sheets I bought)

This information is about me, thus it should be mine and I wouldn't want others to have access to it. If someone logs on my computer, they have access to it, also other customers indirectly have access to my information because their recommendations may be based on my buying behavior. Though my name is not attached to these recommendations, my information is still being used and accessed by strangers.

At the bottom of "Carl's Amazon.com" there are options to track orders , change my profile, access my account, and other options. The one that concerns me is the accessing of my account. If someone canget into this, they have the ability to view credit card information, shipping information, billing information (all of which is saved in the Amazon database so that I don't even need to have my credit card out to purchase, it is already saved). This is very important information, Amazon users have to weigh the importance of convenience associated with this info being saved already and the danger of this information getting placed in the wrong hands. This would deal with the Accessibility and Property aspects of PAPA. It's information about me, but because it is saved on Amazon's database, are they part owners? Also, who all has access to this information?

It is very interesting to analyze this frequently used website in the context of PAPA. We take for granted the safety of internet exchanges because of the amount we use them in this age of technology boom. More and more issues are going to be raised over the coming years, relating to these issues.

Posted by brinkerc at December 3, 2006 01:02 PM


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