US Senators call for FTC probe of Amazon's Echo Dot Kids edition2019-05-09 18:20 by Daniela
Tags: FTC, Amazon, Echo Dot Kids
Lawmakers and public interest groups have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and ask it to investigate Amazon's Echo Dot Kids, arguing that the smart device fails to adequately protect children's privacy by illegally keeping data on children even after their parents try to delete it.
According to Amazon, the device as "a kid-friendly study buddy, DJ, comedian, storyteller, and more," and promises "peace of mind" for parents who want to screen explicit music and other potentially harmful content from their kids. But the complaint alleges that parents may be risking their children's privacy, alleging the kids' version of Amazon's Alexa won't forget what children tell it, even after parents try to delete the conversations.
"Amazon markets Echo Dot Kids as a device to educate and entertain kids, but the real purpose is to amass a treasure trove of sensitive data that it refuses to relinquish even when directed to by parents," Josh Golin, the executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the organization that spearheaded this effort, said in a statement.
"Children are a uniquely vulnerable population," the lawmakers wrote. "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."
An Amazon spokesperson denied any COPPA violation. "FreeTime on Alexa and Echo Dot Kids Edition are compliant with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)," the spokesperson said in a statement, while also directing customers to Alexa's privacy practices.
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