Amazon pays £20m over Alexa’s breach of children’s privateness rights

Amazon has agreed to pay US$25 million (£20 million) to settle claims that it breached children’s privateness rights through its Alexa voice assistant. Nothing to it reached a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after being accused of not deleting Alexa recordings when requested by mother and father, resulting in the retention of sensitive info for years. Additionally, Amazon’s doorbell camera subsidiary, Ring, can pay US$5.eight million (£4.6 million) after granting employees unrestricted entry to customer data.
The FTC grievance acknowledged that Amazon reassured users, including dad and mom, that they might delete voice recordings collected by Alexa. However, the corporate didn’t comply, retaining the info unlawfully to enhance its Alexa algorithm. Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, accused Amazon of “misleading parents, maintaining children’s recordings indefinitely, and flouting parents’ deletion requests”, prioritising earnings over privateness.
The FTC also revealed that Ring, acquired by Amazon in 2018, permitted “thousands of employees and contractors” to view recordings of customers’ non-public areas. These people may entry and download sensitive video knowledge for private use. Amazon knowledgeable the BBC that “Ring promptly addressed the issues at hand by itself years in the past, properly before the FTC started its inquiry”. However, the criticism disclosed that one worker considered thousands of video recordings of female customers in intimate spaces, similar to bathrooms or bedrooms, and was solely stopped when a colleague seen..

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