02/05/2018 – 1:03pm
Facebook and Google aren’t the only tech giants with a ton of data on you –though admittedly, they are probably the ones that know the most about you. That being said, Amazon is probably near the tops of the list as well. After all, the company knows not only your purchase history, but has used your Amazon and web browsing history to build up detailed profiles about you.
And that’s not even considering if you’re an Amazon Prime member and use their streaming video and music services. If so, the company knows all about your media tastes.
In light of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, many people are rightly becoming more wary of just how much the big tech giants know about us. If that’s the case with you–you’ll want to check out all the data Amazon has on you. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t have a one-stop data download tool like Google and Facebook offers.
In order to see everything Amazon knows about you you’ll need to go to several different parts of its site (and apps, if you’re an Alexa user). Want to get started? Here’s what you need to do.
Download Your Complete Amazon Order History
Yep, Amazon has a list of every single item you’ve ever bought from it. To get a copy of that list you’ll need to generate an order history report.
- Sign into your Amazon account on the web.
- Go to Order History Reports in Your Account.
- Select the report type from drop-down menu (choose “items”), then fill in the start date and end date.
- Now enter a name for your report in the field provided.
- Click Request Report.
- When the report is complete, you’ll receive an email notification. To retrieve the report, visit Order History Reports and click Download.
- You can open up the CSV file in any spreadsheet app to see a list of all your orders.
As for deleting this information–there’s no way to do this.
Disable Personalized Ads On Amazon
One way you can get Amazon to track you less is by disabling personalized Amazon ads on every web browser you use. As Amazon notes: “What are personalized ads? Personalized ads, sometimes referred to as targeted or interest-based ads, are based on information about you, such as the products you view on Amazon.com, your purchases on Amazon.com, visits to websites where we provide ads or content, or use of our payment services on other websites.”
But personalized ads mean Amazon also collects a lot more information about you based on your browsing and search history–even off their main site. Want to stop them from collecting this search data? To this:
- Go to the Amazon Advertising Preferences page.
- Under the Submit Your Preference header, select “Do Not Personalize Ads from Amazon for this Internet Browser.”
- Click the Submit button.
- Remember, you need to do this for Amazon in every web browser you use (Chrome, IE, Safari, etc).
Delete Your Alexa Voice Recordings
If you’ve ever asked Amazon Alexa (or an Echo) anything, Amazon has a recording of your voice query. Yeah, this is a little creepy. Amazon keeps recordings of your commands to improve how well Alexa works for you.
But recording everything you say is too much for some people. If you want to get your privacy back and delete your recordings from Amazon’s servers, there is a way. Just follow these steps:
- Go to Manage Your Content and Devices on the Amazon website.
- Click on the Your Devices tab.
- From the list of devices registered to your Amazon account, select your Alexa device.
- Select Manage voice recordings.
- Select Delete.
Keep in mind that if you choose to delete your Alexa voice recordings, Alexa won’t work as well for you–then again, you’ll have regained some privacy.
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