A report filed Wednesday notes that someone on Mashable's staff received a targeted ad for the study, which is ongoing at two New York City locations. Engagement with the ad leads to an online sign-up form, which explains "this is a body scanning study to learn about diversity among body shapes." Participants must be 18 years of age or older, with Illinois residents excluded from consideration outright, surely a bummer for the entire state.
The scan, per the form, takes an estimated 30 minutes to complete. According to Amazon, any data acquired during the course of this Amazon x Body Labs study will be used solely for "internal product research," not marketing. Mashable writer Matt Binder said Wednesday he has since signed up for the study and was instructed to sign an NDA.
A March 11 post on Reddit's /conspiracy brought the same process to some folks' attention.
The Amazon-owned Body Labs, meanwhile, previously held a study of a similar nature in 2018. The company was co-founded by Brown University's Michael Black, who helped Virginia authorities solve a murder and robbery case in 2002 using similar technology.
Amazon and other giants in the industry have rightfully faced continued scrutiny from the public regarding their handlings of privacy concerns. Back in April, Bloomberg hit us all with a report revealing that Amazon has thousands of employees listening in on Alexa clips.
In related fuckeries, Wednesday also brought word that Amazon shareholders were not successful in pushing for limitations on facial recognition software usage. "The fact that there needed to be a vote on this is an embarrassment for Amazon's leadership team," the ACLU's Shankar Narayan told Gizmodo of the failure.
But hey, everything is fine!