Last Update: June 01, 2023, 01:35 AM IST
Washington DC, United States of America (USA)
Amazon.com and a subsidiary reached multimillion-dollar settlements with the US Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday related to privacy violations by its voice assistant Alexa and homeowners using their Ring doorbell cameras.
Amazon has agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations that it failed to delete Alexa recordings at the request of parents and violated children’s privacy rights, according to a court filing in federal court in Seattle. .
“While we disagree with the FTC’s claims about both Alexa and Ring and deny they violated the law, these settlements put these matters behind us,” Amazon.com said in a statement.
It also promised to make some changes to its practices.
Ring will pay $5.8 million for improperly handling customers’ videos, according to a separate filing in federal court in the District of Columbia.
In its complaint against Amazon.com, filed in Washington state, the FTC said it violated rules protecting children’s privacy and rules against duping consumers who use Alexa. For example, the FTC’s complaint states that Amazon told users it would remove voice transcripts and location information upon request, but then failed to do so.
The FTC also said that Ring provided employees with unrestricted access to customers’ sensitive video data, “as a result of this dangerously broad access and lax attitude toward privacy and security, employees and third-party contractors were able to view, download, were able to access and transfer “sensitive video data for their own purposes.”
As part of the FTC agreement with Ring, which runs for 20 years, Ring is required to tell customers how much access the company and its contractors have to their data.
In February 2019, Ring changed its policies so that most Ring employees or contractors can only access a customer’s private video with that person’s consent.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – reuters,