February 23, 2021
Privacy Tip of the Week: Delete Your Amazon Account
Posted by Rhiannon
Ah, Amazon. The multi-billion dollar corporate giant that dominates the world of ecommerce retail. We all love it, right? Or do we? Although Amazon is undoubtedly one of the most convenient websites for shopping, and they have some quality streaming content on their video platform, the company has long been the target of harsh criticisms around the world. For example, Amazon is oft-criticized for harming small businesses who can’t compete with such a large-scale corporation. In addition, their treatment of employees has also met with harsh criticism from those who feel workers are under-payed and overworked. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg; you can check out an even longer list of criticisms against the company here.
Whatever your feelings on Amazon’s business practices, however, you may feel that they don’t impact you, so why change your Amazon habits? The answer is simple: no matter who you are, if you have an Amazon account, the company impacts your privacy. They can collect data about you from sources such as your browsing habits, Alexa requests, Ring doorbell recordings, and more. In addition, Amazon often fills your browser with tracking cookies so they can follow your activity across the web. Unfortunately, the only way to prevent your privacy from being impacted by Amazon is by deleting your account altogether. This is a drastic move, and not an easy one to accomplish, but one those who prize privacy above all else may want to consider. Take a look at what happens when you delete your Amazon account, and how you can go about doing it:
- What happens when you delete your account?
- How do you delete your account?
- Is it worth it?
What Happens When You Delete Your Account?
Deleting your Amazon account is not for the faint of heart. Not only does this process delete your retail account, it also severs your access to Prime Video, Audible, and more. Here’s what you lose access to when you delete your account:
- All Amazon accounts, including your retail account, Prime Video, Audible, and accounts on other country domains (such as .ca, .co.uk, and more).
- Digital content you previously purchased but do not have a downloaded copy of, such as ebooks and audiobooks, music, apps, and more.
- Amazon-adjacent hardware accounts, like your Alexa assistant and Amazon Firestick.
- Past order history (to either reorder an item or return one).
- Gift cards you’ve uploaded to your account.
Note: This is not a full list. However, by initiating the account deletion process, Amazon will send you a detailed list of everything you will lose access to by deleting your account.
How Do You Delete Your Amazon Account?
Amazon makes this process difficult to initiate, and for good reason. It ensures deletions are deliberate and thought through, because once you delete your account, you cannot undo that process. But, if you’ve thought it through and are sure you want to delete Amazon from your life, just use these steps:
- Visit Amazon’s data deletion page.
- Sign into your account.
- The bulk of the page details what you will lose access to by deleting your account. Read it thoroughly to avoid surprises.
- At the bottom of the page, you can optionally select why you’re deleting your account from a dropdown menu.
- Check the box next to “Yes, I want to permanently close my Amazon account and delete my data.”
- Click Close My Account.
- You must then confirm that you want to close your account. Amazon will send you confirmation via email or text.
Is Deleting My Account Worth It?
Most of our lives are heavily tied to Amazon. We shop on the platform, watch content on it, use Amazon’s personal Alexa assistant, and more. Deleting your account is no small undertaking if you use Amazon frequently, and will require adjustments to your daily life. However, many users no longer want to support the company’s business practices, while others want to free themselves from the surveillance and tracking that comes with using the platform. For either of these reasons, deleting your account is worth it; just make sure you understand all that comes along with such an action.
You can increase your privacy online, on all websites, by using a VPN every time you browse. HotBot VPN allows you to protect up to six Android, iOS, and Windows devices at once!
Posted by Rhiannon
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