Amazon to pay $25 million to settle children’s privacy rights lawsuit with FTC

Amazon will pay the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $25 million to settle accusations that its Alexa voice assistant violated children’s privacy rights.

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Amazon has agreed to pay the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $25 million to settle allegations that it violated children’s privacy rights by failing to delete Alexa recordings at the request of parents and retaining sensitive data for years. According to the FTC complaint, Amazon kept voice recordings for years and used them unlawfully to improve its Alexa algorithm. Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Samuel Levine, accused Amazon of misleading parents, keeping children’s recordings for years and disregarding parents’ deletion requests.

According to another filing in federal court in the District of Columbia, Amazon’s doorbell camera unit, Ring, will also pay 5.8 million dollars after granting its employees unrestricted access to customer data. FTC stated in its complaint that Ring ’employees and contractors were able to ‘view and download customers’ sensitive video data for their own purposes.’

Amazon stated that while it denies the allegations regarding Alexa and Ring, it has agreed to the settlements and will continue to enhance privacy features for customers.