Amazon to Pay Millions in Settlement of FTC Charges for Violating Privacy

Amazon has settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on two separate charges, and will pay over 30 million dollars in aggregate for alleged privacy violations related to its Ring and Alexa devices.

Amazon will pay nearly six million dollars to settle Amazon’s privacy violations and practices of misleading consumers regarding its smart doorbell and home security camera service “Ring”. The FTC alleged that Amazon failed to adequately manage access rights to customers' videos captured on security cameras by its employees and service providers. These cameras were installed in sensitive areas, including customers' bedrooms and bathrooms. Additionally, the FTC's investigation revealed that Amazon used consumer videos to train its algorithms without obtaining their consent. As part of the settlement, Amazon is required to delete all the information it derived from these videos, including any models trained using such data.

The remaining $25 million will go to settle charges related to privacy violations involving minor users of Amazon’s smart speakers and the “Alexa” personal assistant app. According to the allegations, Amazon disregarded parents' requests to delete the personal information of minors and retained the information for longer than necessary for the intended purposes of data collection. As part of the settlement, Amazon also agreed to delete personal information collected from the profiles of minor users if they remain inactive for 18 months unless the minor’s parent requests otherwise.

Click here to read the Federal Trade Commission’s press release regarding the Alexa matter.

Click here to read the Federal Trade Commission’s press release regarding the Ring matter.