Tech Warning

I was not overly paranoid about technology, until today. Now, I am concerned, scared and outraged. Why? Here's why

I turned on my laptop today and saw a new icon on my taskbar. It was the amazon icon. I opened it and it was the Amazon Assistant. Huh? What was the Amazon Assistant? I had never seen or heard of it before and did not know what it was. I googled it and found out that it was an amazon app. "The Amazon Assistant is a free suite of software applications available for select browsers and operating systems that comes with features to help you compare products and prices while searching and shopping online." I did not want it, it did not came installed on my device when I bought my device, and worse, did not give permission for it to install on my device! The app installed itself on my laptop!!! WHAT??? A legitimate app should never do that, if it's not installed prior to device purchase a legit app should always get your permission and acceptance before it installs itself. This app didn't. Where did the app come from? Who installed the Amazon Assistant app on my computer?

I was outraged. And scared. Technology had taken over my device, without my permission, and installed an amazon app. Not possible? Now it is. It happened. No, I had not visited any bogus websites or opened any bogus emails. And, no, I have not gotten any updates recently.

I decided to contact amazon and find out how this incredible and totally unacceptable invasion of privacy took place. I contacted amazon via chat and this is what transpired:

"Hello, my name is Sasi. I'm here to help you today. How may I help you?

Me: Amazon Assistant app was installed on my laptop yesterday/last night without my permission

Sasi: I'm sorry to hear about the issue you have with the Amazon Assistant app. Please give me a moment.

Thanks for waiting, Andrew. Just to be sure, do you want to uninstall the app?

Me: Installing an app on someone's device - without their permission - is a HUGE issue

Sasi: I can understand your concern, Andrew.

Me: how DARE amazon do that! I have been a loyal customer for many years. Now, amazon invades my privacy and takes over my computer?!

Sasi: I apologize for any inconvenience, Andrew. Let me transfer this chat to the concern team. I'll take only a few moment.

Sandy:Hello, my name is Sandy. I'm sorry for the multiple transfers. Please allow me a moment while I review your previous chat correspondence to assist you in a much better way.

Me: Just so I understand, the Amazon Assistant app was installed on my device without permission?

Sandy:Thank you for staying connected. Andrew, there is no option for us to install any app over customers device. Please check with your family members someone might have accessed your PC.

Me: Nobody else uses my laptop. Ever.

Sandy:As the app needs to be installed manually, there is no way for us to access or install the app on anyone's device.

Me: the app was not installed manually, not by me or anyone else. This is a BIG problem

Sandy:Andrew, have you accessed any website where it requires to install any app on your PC.

Me: Is there a third party that could have installed the app?

Sandy:There could be, if you accessed any website where it states you need to install this app or this app will be installed automatically.

Me: I have installed no new apps. I would have been aware of any website that required downloading/installing an app. Is it possible that Chrome (google) installed the app?

Sandy:Andrew, until and unless someone clicked on the option to install, the app doesn't get installed not only amazon assistant any app. It needs to be installed manually.

Me:Apparently not. This app was installed without my permission, without me clicking on any option.

Sandy:Then this needs to be reported to our technical department and I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused to you. Please update your passwords to be on a safer side if anyone has remote access to your PC.

Me: I believe that amazon would be the only party to benefit from having this app on a device, I am holding amazon responsible.

Sandy:Andrew, as I have mentioned we don't get an option to install apps on customers PC. If it's a fire tablet or ereader, it'll might be installed if there's any new update rolled out, other than that we never access customers devices.

Me: btw, I have uninstalled the app.  My device is a Windows 10 Lenovo laptop with Chrome browser

Sandy:Thank you for providing the device details. I'll update my resources about this issue. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Me: No. Thank you. Bye.

Amazon denied their Amazon Assistant app could have been installed without my permission. Yet it was. Could google Chrome have done it? No doubt they would deny it too. Could Microsoft have done it? No doubt they would deny it too. How about Facebook? No doubt they would deny it. No doubt EVERYBODY would deny it. However, somebody installed the Amazon Assistant app on my electronic device -- and it wasn't me! And no one else had access to or used my device.

The invasion of your device without your knowledge or permission and installing a legitimate app is scary. Really scary. And outrageous. SOMEBODY installed the Amazon Assistant app on my device without my knowledge or permission. These days, I am becoming paranoid about ALL technology. With good reason.

Beware of technology, it can take over our lives. If it hasn't already.  I wrote this in 2018