Amazon tracked conference attendees’ locations with beacons hidden in badges, report says


Amazon, which has its tentacles in everything from e-commerce to cloud computing to streaming video, reportedly tracked the location of attendees at one of its recent cloud computing conferences.

Motherboard reports that people who went to Amazon’s Web Services’s conference in Las Vegas earlier this month were given badges that had pre-installed beacons that allowed the tech giant to track them as they walked around.

One anonymous conference attendee told the tech-focused website that had they known about the hidden tracking device, they would have opted out. “Had I seen AWS themselves describe it as a ‘beacon’, I’d’ve known exactly what that means and opted the hell on out of that one,” the person said.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is pictured inside the company's office in Bengaluru, India, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa/File Photo - RC1E5AEBF0B0

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is pictured inside the company’s office in Bengaluru, India, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa/File Photo – RC1E5AEBF0B0

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The conference attendee also learned “something was different this year” when Amazon told them lost badges would cost $150 to replace.

“We knew something was different this year because they were very clear that if you lost your lanyard, you’d pay $150 to replace and it would be hassle,” the person told Motherboard.

In a statement to Motherboard, Amazon said the data that was collected was anonymous and was to understand foot traffic and attendance at certain events.

Fox News’ request for comment from Amazon was not immediately returned.

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