Lawsuit Filed In Seattle Accuses Amazon’s Alexa Devices Of Recording Kid’s Voice Without Permission
Amazon, the tech giant company once again accused of breaching children’s privacy law, and this time it’s with smart speaker devices Alexa. Two lawsuits already filed within this week, both claiming the e-commerce company failed to receive permission for recording kid’s voice through Alexa products from kids or parents.
Amazon is also accused of breaking children’s privacy law in minimum 8-states of the US, the lawsuit mentions in filling.
According to Seattle Times reports, the case against Amazon was filed on 13 June, in Seattle’s federal court. The lawsuit accuses the voice-controlled digital assistant products of Amazon Alexa permanently records millions of kid’s voices without theirs or parents approval.
Prior to this, a similar case was registered in California Superior Court with regards to 8 years old boy.
With regards to 10-year old Massachusetts girl, charges filed in Seattle federal court on Tuesday, says
Alexa routinely records and voiceprints millions of children without their consent or the consent of the parents.
The lawsuit claims, although the devices can recognize individual voices, Amazon should notify its users who have not approved of being recorded and then request for permission.
The company responds to the lawsuit saying:
Alexa does not do this. At no point does Amazon warn unregistered users that it is creating persistent voice recordings of their Alexa interactions, let alone obtain their consent to do so.
The states in which Amazon violated the children’s privacy law are namely Washington, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. All the states want every community to request for permission to record voices, irrelevant of their age.
At the time, when Amazon plans the marketing of the digital product ‘Alexa speakers’, the lawsuit is a big challenge for the firm. Need to wait and see how Amazon deals with this situation and also with its expansion plan.
Earlier to this, on Monday Amazon added additional features to its ‘Echo Dot Kids Edition’. The device is specially designed for the kid.
The kid’s advocates urge in the lawsuit for the Federal Trade Commission to examine the Echo Dot Kids Edition product. The children’s advocate accuses that the virtual device is gathering kid’s sensitive information that does not allow parents to delete. This is in-turn breaching the Children’s Online Privacy Protect Act (COPP). However, Amazon earlier mentioned the smart device follows the regulations of COPPA.
The previous year, a non-profit tech based firm, Mozilla asked Amazon to offer more detail information on how it is using data collected of kids via its Echo Dot Kids Edition.
Amazon spokesperson mentioned in a statement, Amazon has a long commitment record of protecting its customers’ trust and their families, and the company has created strict measures and rules in order to safeguard user’s privacy and security.
Amazon provides ‘FreeTime on Alexa’ for users with kids that offer a feature, allowing parents to control and families to learn and enjoy together.
The two new suit says, the parents bought Amazon Echo devices and installed them, the lawsuits even mentioned that the kids did not purchase it nor installed the Alexa application by themselves.