Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition accused of child privacy blunders

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition accused of child privacy blunders

"The FTC must hold Amazon accountable for blatantly violating children's privacy law and putting kids at risk". In the complaint it was mentioned that the device retained children's data even after the parents deleted the voice recordings.

The findings prompted four United States senators to ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Amazon is violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). But as further proof that private information is no longer sacred, a complaint filed yesterday with the US Federal Trade Commission alleges that the devices are unlawfully storing kids' data - even after parents attempt to delete it.

Amazon's parental consent mechanism does not provide assurance that the person giving consent is the parent of the child.

"We urge the commission to take all necessary steps to ensure their privacy as "Internet of Things" devices targeting young consumers come to market, including promptly initiating an investigation into the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition's compliance with COPPA".

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The Kids Edition of Echo Dot is not now sold by Amazon Australia, but the story is a pertinent reminder that smart speakers should not be trusted with all of your personal data. "That seems fundamentally unfair to parents, but also clearly a violation of a parent's right to delete". It did not respond to questions about why the Echo Dot Kids product can fail to delete a child's data, as the advocacy groups have charged.

Investigators examined the privacy policies of over 2,000 "skills" and found 85 per cent of them didn't have any.

In one example the advocates captured on video, a child asks the device to remember some personal information, including her walnut allergy. But the agency has been enforcing children's privacy rules more seriously in the past year, said Allison Fitzpatrick, a lawyer who helps companies comply with COPPA requirements and was not involved in the complaint.

Recently, Amazon Alexa was in news after a report surfaced online suggesting that Amazon employees can listen to the voice recordings of Amazon Echo users. They also raised concern over how the data is shared with third parties, which are allegedly not subject to Amazon's privacy policies.

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