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Amazon Fined $25m for Failure to Delete Alexa Recordings

This picture taken on July 4, 2022 shows the logo of Amazon, a major online shopping company, displayed at Amazon Amagasaki Fulfillent Center in Amagasaki, Hyogo prefecture. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

BNR – Amazon has failed to remove Alexa recordings as per parents’ requests. As a result, the business will pay a total of $25 million to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It was discovered that the company has stored sensitive data for several years.

Amazon’s Ring doorbell camera will also pay out, as workers have had free access to consumers’ data. According to a request in federal court in the District of Columbia, Ring will pay $5.8 million to authorities.

Amazon Data Retention Against Customers’ Requests

Amazon consistently and explicitly told its customers, including parents, that they could erase the system’s audio recordings. This information is according to the FTC’s complaint regarding Alexa.

However, the company did not erase such recordings. According to the complaint, they retained data for many years and utilised it illegally to assist enhance the Alexa algorithm.

In a statement, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Samuel Levine accused Amazon of “misleading parents.” He stressed that the corporation preserved children’s recordings indefinitely and ignored deletion requests from parents. He went on to say that the firm compromised privacy for revenue.

Ring Staff Breach Privacy

Furthermore, The FTC claimed that Ring permitted thousands of staff and contractors to view footage of customers’ private places. Amazon bought Ring in 2018.

The FTC stated that Ring staff were able to watch and obtain sensitive video data of customers for their own reasons. One employee, according to the lawsuit, saw hundreds of footage involving female users.

The footage originated from Ring cameras that monitored private areas of the women’s houses, such as their toilets and bedrooms. The employee had only ceased after a co-worker noticed their actions.

“Ring’s disregard for privacy and security exposed consumers to spying and harassment,” Levine said. “The FTC’s order makes clear that putting profit over privacy doesn’t pay.”

Amazon disputed the FTC’s allegations about Alexa and Ring and denied breaching the law. Also, the company stated that it will keep working to develop more privacy protections for its consumers.


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