It looks like Amazon now has a patent on technology that will make it more difficult for shoppers to check prices online when they are in Amazon locations.
The tech — going under the moniker “physical store online shopping control” — intercepts certain websites, search terms and web activity that take place on its in-store Wi-Fi. The patent filing goes on to explain that the information gathered could potentially be used to send a customer a digital coupon to cover the price difference between a product in the store and a cheaper offer they might have viewed online. Or, the store could send a clerk to talk you out of a competitor’s offer, suggest other items you might like to buy alongside or just to distract you away from price checking on the phone.
Don’t like the idea of Amazon spying on you while you shop? Really don’t like the idea of Amazon deciding what sites you can and can’t look at in their store? The goods news is that by turning off WiFi and using phone data to access the internet, a shopper can avoid the whole system. That shopper would then be sacrificing the potential discount coupons or conversations with a sales clerk.
The patent was first filed for in 2012 — and as of yet, there is no way of knowing when and even if Amazon plans to put this tech into action.