One of the hot topics discussed in the business world right now is the concept of big data. Just about every transaction conducted online provides third parties with personal and private information about the public including age, demographics, buying habits, spending patterns, and preferences. And with Amazon facing antitrust charges in the European Union over the unethical use of third-party data, the matter is getting increased interest.
Recently, Amazon in Connecticut has been called out for using big data in what may be unethical ways. The way Amazon works is by selling goods and services online. Many of these sales involve third-party sellers. Company A may want to sell widgets. They don’t have a robust vehicle by which to sell them. They pay Amazon a small fee in order to sell their products on Amazon’s Marketplace.
For almost all of these online transactions, the sales are completed through Amazon’s payment portal. Amazon tracks the information obtained in these third-party transactions. Once the sale and shipment are complete, Amazon has tons of big data on the customer. This may not seem important at first glance. However, Amazon then goes on to use that data to increase its own customer base and revenue.
According to the European Union, this practice has allowed Amazon to bypass the traditional and expensive process of marketing and advertising. This gives them an unfair competitive edge over the rest of the industry. While this practice may not technically be illegal, it is seen by many as being unethical.
Because Amazon is using real-time data to take advantage of its third-party sellers, this could be actionable. There is no indication yes as to how the American regulators are going to handle this problem.
If you feel that one of your vendors or business partners are taking advantage of your customer data, contact a Connecticut business lawyer right away.