1680351206 Amazon is accused of collecting data about children via voice

Amazon is accused of collecting data about children via voice assistant Alexa

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recommended filing a lawsuit against Amazon, whose smart speakers with Alexa voice assistant collect information about children under the age of 13 without parental consent. This is contrary to the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Bloomberg citing an anonymous source. The US Department of Justice could file a lawsuit on behalf of the FTC later this month.

    Image source: amazon.com

Image source: amazon.com

In 2019, a group of stakeholders called on the FTC to investigate whether Amazon smart speakers violate children’s privacy rights. According to activists, the company keeps records of polls indefinitely and, in some cases, continues to do so even after users try to delete them. Amazon reportedly doesn’t properly obtain parental consent to collect data about their children, and most Alexa apps don’t have a privacy policy at all.

The company’s product range includes the Echo series of smart speakers designed for children – Amazon offers a subscription with specially selected applications, books and other content. After filing a complaint, the company said its updated Kids+ program was COPPA compliant. Fines for child rights violations can reach as high as $50,000 per episode, which makes for a staggering sum: in the case of Epic Games and its game Fortnite, the fine was $275 million — a record number for violations so far against COPPA.


About the author

Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

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