No arbitration for Amazon in children’s voiceprints case

In a US case on the alleged collection of children’s voiceprints through Alexa, a federal judge has refused to order class-action arbitration demanded by Amazon.  A group of parents claim that Amazon’s Alexa violates children’s privacy by storing their voiceprints without the child or parent’s permission. They allege that this practice violates privacy laws in eight US states. Amazon had contended that the case belonged in arbitration, arguing that the parents had agreed to arbitrate all claims before using Alexa and that those agreements also apply to their children. In his ruling, the US District Court for the Western District of Washington’s judge wrote, ‘As a general rule, non-signatories are not bound by arbitration clauses’. He added that requiring arbitration could ‘lead to absurd results, where any non registered user who uses the devices in question could be bound by the arbitration agreement’.

 

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