Amazon might be stalking people's Facebook and Twitter profiles in order to prevent people 'rigging' reviews on the site.
According to blogger "IMYSANTIAGO", a review she posted about a series of books was rejected on the grounds that she potentially knew the author.
"At this point I am dumbstruck. “I know the author.” That is quite an erroneous and quite presumptous assessment, so I went through the painstaking process of escalating the issue to their Review Appeals Department." she writes.
Understandably confused about the situation, she then replied to the automated email demanding an explanation as to both how they knew she was connected to the author and why they then had a right to ban her review.
The response she reportedly then got is what got her really worried:
"We removed your customer reviews because you know the author personally.
Due to the proprietary nature of our business, we do not provide detailed information on how we determine that accounts are related.
We cannot share any further information about our decision and we may not replay to further emails about this issue."
Imy goes on to point out that the only connection she has with the author is that she started following them on social media after reading the first book.
Putting two and two together she assumes this must mean that Amazon has been looking through her social media profiles to find a connection.
While perfectly legal, the practise doesn't exactly inspire confidence, furthering privacy concerns about the relationships between larger technology companies and their customers.
Both Apple and Google have become strong advocates for change, supporting the increased privacy of its users by never storing personal data when they don't need to and making sure that as much information stays on their devices rather than being stored in a central cloud.
We've contacted Amazon for comment and will update as soon as we get a response.