Amazon fined $25 million by FTC for child privacy violations involving Alexa


Smart devices, smart homes, smart cars, and even smartphones are all listening. We cover almost all of these devices here, and many in our audience despise these devices. While we believe that it’s everyone’s right to choose what tech to use and not use, we do understand the privacy and security implications smart devices pose. So does most of the tech industry and government, and that’s why Amazon is paying a $25 million fine for alleged child privacy violations.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Amazon agreed Wednesday to pay a $25 million civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations it violated a child privacy law and deceived parents by keeping kids’ voice and location data recorded by its popular Alexa voice assistant for years. The company also paid $5.8 million in refunds for other alleged privacy violations involving its Ring line of doorbell cameras.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice will require Amazon to overhaul its deletion practices and implement stringent privacy safeguards to settle charges the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA Rule) and deceived parents and users of the Alexa voice assistant service about its data deletion practices.

Under the proposed federal court order also filed by DOJ, Amazon will be required to delete inactive child accounts and specific voice recordings and geolocation information and will be prohibited from using such data to train its algorithms. The federal court must approve the proposed order to go into effect.

You can read the Federal Trade Commission press release on its website to learn more about the ruling.

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