Amazon has agreed to pay over $30 million in customer refunds and fines after two federal lawsuits alleged violations with Alexa and Ring devices.
The lawsuits claim that Amazon has unlawfully kept Alexa voice recordings from adults and children under the age of 13 for years.
Amazon …violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA Rule) and deceived parents and users of the Alexa voice assistant service about its data deletion practices.
The lawsuits also alleged that every Amazon employee had full access to every customer’s video recorded on a Ring camera device before July 2017.
…before July 2017, Ring did not impose any technical or procedural restrictions on employees’ ability to download, save, or transfer customers’ videos.
Due to failures to implement “basic privacy and security protections,” more than 55,000 U.S. customers’ Ring devices were hacked.
Some of the hackers taunted residents in their homes through the Ring camera system.
Amazon released the following statement in response to the claims:
While we disagree with the FTC’s claims regarding both Alexa and Ring, and deny violating the law, these settlements put these matters behind us.
The proposed Alexa court order requires Amazon to delete all inactive child accounts, including voice recordings.
In the Ring case, Amazon must pay millions in customer refunds and delete certain videos prior to when it acquired the company back in 2018.