'Are You Serious?' Alibaba Exec Draws Flak Over Highlighting New Tech To Track What Individuals Are Eating, Where They Are Traveling

An Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA executive faced flak after his individual carbon footprint tracker comments at the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit in Davos, Switzerland.

What Happened: Chinese internet giant Alibaba’s USA Group president J. Michael Evans, during a panel discussion on responsible consumption, said the company is developing a technology that will allow users to track their own carbon footprints.

“We’re developing, through technology, an ability for consumers to measure their whole carbon footprint,” Evans said.

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“What does that mean? Where they are traveling. How they are traveling. What are they eating. What they are consuming on the platform. We don’t have it operational yet, but this is something that we’re working on,” he added.

The comments drew a flurry of criticism on social media, with many users pointing out potential privacy implications.

Replying to the video clip of Evans, one Twitter user said, “Have I got this right? They are going to track how I travel, where I travel, what I eat. Are you serious? This will be so they will be able to limit our travel, where we travel and tell us what we can eat. How are we letting this happen?”



Even if Alibaba launches its footprint tracker, it wouldn’t be something new for the world. Recently, a Swedish, Alphabet Inc GOOGL GOOG backed, startup Normative launched a free version of its carbon emissions tracker that allows companies around the world to figure out how to manage their environmental footprints, according to CNBC.

Price Action: According to data from Benzinga Pro, Alibaba shares closed 5.46% lower at $82.47 apiece on NYSE.

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