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Amazon Accused of Violating Kids' Privacy With Smart Speakers


A marketing image from Amazon.

Privacy and child-advocacy organizations have filed a complaint with federal regulators claiming Amazon illegally records and retains conversations of children through its Echo Dot Kids device.

Credit: Amazon

Privacy and child-advocacy organizations have filed a complaint with federal regulators alleging Amazon has been illegally recording and retaining the conversations of child users of its Echo Dot Kids device.

The complainants claimed the online retailer stores this information in the cloud, even after parents attempt to erase it.

They have urged the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate, citing the practice's violation of federal online privacy statutes protecting children.

The voice-activated device was promoted as a variant of Amazon's Alexa smart speaker, equipped with parental control and family-oriented features; the tool collects transcripts of children's voice recordings, as well as their viewing and listening habits.

Investigators learned parents could neither alter nor delete the device's stored data, while deleting a child's profile would deactivate its child-friendly features, and terminate access to a related content subscription service.

From The Wall Street Journal
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