Amazon FTC settlement was announced today by Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Amazon has agreed to pay more than $30 million to resolve two separate privacy lawsuits alleging that the firm breached consumers’ privacy through its Alexa voice assistant and its Ring doorbell cameras.
In the first case, a parent claims that Amazon improperly collected and stored their child’s voice recordings and geolocation data in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The complaint also claims that Amazon did not comply with parents’ requests to erase such information.
The second claim is that Amazon has been misleading people about what it does with the information it gathers through Alexa and Ring devices. The complaint states that Amazon misrepresented the extent to which consumers might exercise choice over Amazon’s collection and use of their personal information.
Amazon FTC settlement: Ring and Alexa privacy violations cost over $30 million
Amazon FTC settlement for Alexa will cost $25 million because it broke the Children’s Internet Privacy Protection Act. Amazon was accused by FTC Consumer Protection Director Samuel Levine of putting “privacy for profits” by “flouting parents’ deletion requests.”
“We built Alexa with strong privacy protections and customer controls, designed Amazon Kids to comply with COPPA, and collaborated with the FTC before expanding Amazon Kids to include Alexa,” Amazon said in a statement on Wednesday. “As part of the settlement, we agreed to make a small modification to our already strong practices and will remove child profiles that have been inactive for more than 18 months unless a parent or guardian chooses to keep them.”
In the Amazon FTC settlement for Ring, the FTC claims that Amazon’s 2018 acquisition of the firm gave employees and contractors access to customers’ private footage. Poor security measures meant that some accounts may be compromised. The FTC has issued an order mandating that Ring pay $5.8 million to be utilized for customer refunds.
“Ring promptly addressed the issues at hand on its own years ago, well before the FTC began its inquiry,” Amazon said. “Our focus has been and remains on delivering products and features our customers love, while upholding our commitment to protect their privacy and security.”
In addition to the monetary payment, Amazon has agreed to implement the following privacy measures:
- Give users more control over their privacy settings, including the ability to opt out of data collection and sharing.
- Implement stronger security measures to protect user data.
- Train its employees on privacy compliance.
While Amazon strongly disagrees with the FTC’s claims about Alexa and Ring, the firm hopes this settlement will help put the controversy to rest.
Insecure digital environment’s latest big settlements: Equifax & T-Mobile
The credit reporting firm Equifax acknowledged on September 7, 2017, that one of its computer networks had had a data leak that had exposed the personal information of 143 million clients, which eventually rose to 147 million. These records included information about the customers’ names, residences, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and credit card numbers, all of which may be exploited for fraud and identity theft.
Equifax agreed to establish a fund to provide customers with free credit monitoring, identity theft protection, and cash compensation of up to $20,000 per to people harmed by the event, per the deal’s conditions. Additionally, the company must pay court fees and government fines.
Take a closer look at how data breaches effects companies: Equifax Data breach settlement
The cybersecurity vulnerability was first disclosed by T-Mobile and was made public on August 16, 2021. According to reports, almost 77 million consumers’ personally identifiable information was stolen due to the T-Mobile data breach. This contained database data such as addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, unique IMEIs and identification codes for client phones, etc.
If granted, the $350 million T-Mobile deal will represent US history’s second-largest payment for a data breach.
Take a closer look at how data breaches effects companies: T-Mobile Data Breach Settlement
Data breaches and hacks are today’s biggest problems. Check out the latest data breaches for more information: