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.
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.