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The patent, aptly titled “Physical store online shopping control,” details a system that would prevent customers from comparing prices in Amazon stores by watching any online activity conducted over its wi-fi network, detecting any information of interest and responding by sending the shopper to a completely different web page — or even blocking internet use altogether.
The patent clearly lays out how Amazon could employ the technology, saying the e-commerce giant could interfere in “the event that requested content is determined to be associated with or potentially associated with a competitor or an item of interest.” If Amazon doesn’t like what it sees, “information may be blocked” or the customer “may be redirected to other content,” such as an Amazon webpage.
The control Amazon would have goes beyond your web browser, extending to your entire phone. In one example, Amazon says it could send you a text, push notification or email in response to what you’re looking at online.