Headline RoundupJune 1st, 2023

Amazon to Pay Privacy Violation Penalties of $31 Million

Summary from the AllSides News Team

On Wednesday, Amazon agreed to pay $31 million in privacy violation charges involving its doorbell camera Ring and voice-controlled assistant Alexa.

Key Details: The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice charged that Amazon deceived parents and violated a child privacy law by keeping for years the location and voice data on children recorded by Alexa, Amazon's popular voice assistant. Last month, Amazon said that it had sold more than a half-billion Alexa-enabled devices around the world.

Key Quote: "Amazon’s history of misleading parents, keeping children’s recordings indefinitely, and flouting parents’ deletion requests violated the Child Online Privacy Protection Act and sacrificed privacy for profits," the FTC consumer protection chief said. "While we disagree with the FTC's claims regarding both Alexa and Ring, and deny violating the law, these settlements put these matters behind us," Amazon.com said in a statement.

For Context: The Child Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) became effective on April 20, 2000, and regulates online collection of personal information about children under the age of 13. It details what a privacy policy must include, what responsibilities an operator has to protect the privacy of children, and how and when to seek consent from a parent or guardian.

How the Media Covered it: Sources across the political spectrum covered the settlement, with many noting that while Amazon felt it had complied with COPPA, it also agreed to remove child profiles that have been inactive for more than 18 months.

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