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Amazon Go store raises privacy questions

Amazon Go store
The first Amazon Go store, in Seattle, is open only to the company’s employees for now, prior to a scheduled public opening early next year. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

By Todd Bishop and Alan Boyle

As an online retail giant, Amazon can use its engineering prowess and the vast capabilities of the digital world to track and analyze how customers use its site.

So it’s only natural that the company, in its first brick-and-mortar convenience store, would want to create a real-world version of the same thing.

The new Amazon Go store logs customers in when they walk through the door, knows instantly when they pick an item up from the shelf, automatically tallies what they put in their carts or shopping bags, uses past purchases to improve their shopping experience, and automatically charges their accounts when they walk out — no need for checkout lines — making it nearly frictionless to buy something.

In short, it’s a physical manifestation of Amazon.com.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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