Amazon has launched a new cashback rewards system, which is available on the Alexa app and allows you to get money back on select purchases.
However, in order to do so, a consumer must give up their shopping data.
The feature, called Shopping List Savings, is used by opening the app before a user goes shopping and browsing through merchants’ offers, while adding them to their shopping list in-app.
After checking out at a store, the user must scan the receipt and product barcodes to finalise the offer deals in the app.
Within 48 hours, their cashback rewards will appear directly in their Amazon gift card account balance, which can be used to purchase any items on the Amazon marketplace.
While this sounds like a good deal for the consumer on the surface, there is a sticking point.
In order to receive the cashback rewards, Amazon will receive vast quantities of data; not just on the consumer’s habits, but also on the pricing at other stores.
Customers will need to take a photograph of every receipt of every item purchased in order to redeem any of the deals.
This means that Amazon will have record of every item purchased that day. Giving it a healthy insight into shopping habits and what other brands are charging for items, helping it to undercut other online merchants and keep shoppers within the Amazon ecosystem.
The features’ terms and conditions read: “By choosing to participate in the Alexa Shopping List Savings program we will get any information you provide, including receipt images and information we may extract from those receipts, and the offers you activate.
“You understand and acknowledge that your personal information may be shared with Amazon’s service providers. The information you give to us will be used and shared as described in the Amazon.com Privacy Notice.”
The terms and conditions do not share any more details on how it will process the data or whether it will anonymise it.