Amazon Strikes Out on Privacy: FTC Slaps Tech Giant with Hefty Fines for Mishandling User Data
Amazon is yet again facing severe backlash for failing to protect user data, as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered the Big Tech titan to pay millions of dollars in two separate civil penalties. These penalties come after a federal court found the company mishandling sensitive information of children using Alexa and Ring doorbell users.
The first penalty, a staggering $25 million, was imposed due to a claim filed by both the FTC and the Department of Justice. It was revealed that Amazon illegally collected and stored the voice recordings of children using Alexa, violating the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Despite the company’s assurances to parents that such recordings could be deleted, Amazon continued to store the data for years. Consequently, the FTC’s settlement demands Amazon to revamp its data deletion practices and establish stringent privacy safeguards.
While these fines may seem substantial, they are nothing more than a slap on the wrist for the anti-free speech company that was once responsible for banning the free speech app Parler from its servers. Amazon, now sitting on a whopping $1.26 trillion market cap, is described as “evil” by MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider, who argues that the fines are practically “meaningless.”
FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection director, Samuel Levine, states that Amazon had misled parents about their deletion requests, indefinitely keeping children’s recordings and sacrificing privacy for profits. Amazon initially denied violating any federal law, only to contradict itself by agreeing to a $25 million settlement, necessitating the company to delete minors’ voice recordings and inactive Alexa accounts belonging to children.
However, the Alexa fine was not the only monetary setback for Amazon this week. A separate complaint by the FTC accused Amazon’s home security camera service, Ring, of “egregious” privacy violations. Allegedly, the company allowed employees to illegally spy on customers using the camera and permitted hackers to access user accounts. To settle the Ring claim, Amazon was fined a mere $5.8 million, totaling $30.8 million in fines for privacy violations.
MRC Free Speech America has consistently warned against potential privacy violations by Amazon. The company admitted in 2019 to hiring employees for listening in on what users said to Alexa – a truly disturbing revelation.
Taking Action Against Amazon’s Privacy Violations
Conservatives are under attack and must take action. Users must demand that Amazon not violate their privacy and insist the company adheres to the First Amendment, providing transparency and equal footing for all. To report censorship, contact the Media Research Center and help hold Big Tech accountable.