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When a company makes a promise, you expect them to keep their word, right? According to the FTC, Amazon promised to delete children’s personal information and Alexa users’ voice and geolocation information but broke the law instead. In an announcement today, the FTC and the Department of Justice said Amazon violated children’s privacy law by keeping kids’ Alexa voice recordings forever to feed its voice-related algorithms.

Amazon promised parents they could “manage their content and devices” and delete their children’s voice recordings, but according to the FTC, the company didn’t always fulfill parents’ deletion requests, kept children’s sensitive voice data indefinitely, and put people’s data at risk of harm from unnecessary access. The FTC says Amazon also failed to fulfill Alexa users’ requests to delete their voice and geolocation information. Instead, Amazon kept using that information for their algorithms.

The proposed order would, among other things, require Amazon to pay $25 million, change its deletion practices, and implement strong privacy safeguards.

This case — like the Ring case — shows that the FTC continues to take action against companies that don’t safeguard people’s personal information, especially when it comes to sensitive biometric data, like voices or videos (as in the Ring case).

Here are some steps to take to protect your family’s personal information:

  • Learn how to protect your kids’ privacy. As a parent, you have control over the personal information companies collect online from your kids under 13. Any site attempting to collect personal information from your child has to get your consent, and it has to honor your choices about how that information is used.
  • Find out if you have the right to tell a company to delete your data. Some state laws give you that right. Learn more at the U.S. State Privacy Legislation Tracker from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
  • Check if you can customize your privacy settings. If a device or an app doesn’t need the info it collects, such as your location, turn off that feature. If the device or app does need it, consider limiting access to only when the device or app is in use.

Learn more about protecting your privacy online and on apps at

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Jeneane Elliott
May 31, 2023

Should I ditch my Alexa echo dot completely?

Harriet King
June 07, 2023

In reply to by Peggy Ryker

We have used Alexa often. Is there a class action suit pertaining to our privacy ?

Missy Morris-K…
June 01, 2023

In reply to by Jeneane Elliott

I ditched mine whenever I found out the AI would be able to interact with the Alexa echo.

May 31, 2023

Thanks for your fine efforts to protect American citizens and our data.

May 31, 2023

Corporations are out of control with their collecting of personal information. AI is being used as a tool to strip away our privacy and misuse our information for profit and control. The governments are just as responsible for this misbehavior too.

Ray Antonelli
May 31, 2023

25 million is a rounding error for Amazon.
Take a page from European regs and hit 'em for a billion

Gil K.
June 05, 2023

In reply to by Ray Antonelli

Rounding error, indeed . . . the number you suggest sounds good, symbolically. I'd suggest that the same could be accomplished with a lower fine . . . just low enough that they don't waste millions defending in court, and high enough to get media attention to the issue.

Georgia Trehey
May 31, 2023

I don't believe any company's promises when it comes to privacy. They will all let you down and expose your personal data, regardless if it is intentional or accidental.

June 01, 2023

Privacy, like trust, may be found in a dictionary.

June 01, 2023


K Hohertz
June 01, 2023

Our Alexa got disconnected when it started chiming in our conversations on its own. That was the last time she said a word!

richard dziewit
June 01, 2023

thank you will pass this on to our seniors as well as international loons clubs and poloce alumni groups
Thank you again

Mark Rb
June 14, 2023

This, taken with the Alexa kid's voice settlement are good, but they are too little, too late. Amazon, where I buy many things allows unsafe products, unsafe marketing:
- "thunder proof" TV roof antenna, backtrack to lightning proof since the exterior is plastic. 50 state laws require specific grounding for any roof antenna for many reasons, they claim not needed.
-A similar $400 device to protect your car should they be hit by lightning - a complete scam with "no reported failures" and false "test" data
- Insulation without legall required R values marked and with false claims referencing real standards that don't apply.

Amazon also provides no way to report these to Amazon for review. For these examples, I had to ask specific questionsto seller that were falsely refuted, talked to an Amazon agent in the Philippines, sent a direct email to seller.

Last I checked all are still available, ignore existing product regulation But it's easy to regroup as a different seller.

- The same settlement products listed here Alexa products and various doorbell cams now made by Amazon, extend your home network to your neighbors and vice versa to provide "enhanced services" all quietly handled by the "trusted" product in their black box processing
- I bought several Alexa products and unplugged them all due to privacy issues (like knowing when home is occupied and by whom), Google (not sold on Amazon) same, with massive external use of network on Chromecast Audio, was running 3 TB a month and subject to serious penalty charges, had to turn off internet for 2 months.

The only way to prevent harm is regulation structured in a predictable confidential trackable way perhaps similar to FCC and mobile phones.

What Federal privacy laws would enable this? There are none, except child protection laws and without specific regulation and delegation the Federal Courts would remove any such rules without legal framework.

Where do these issues belong? FTC, FCC. The FCC is dominated and controlled by corporate interests, like the FAA. All of these agencies that have attempted to consider citizen or humans needs have been captured by deregulation czars: consider Boeing 737 or open, not spied upon internet access. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau attacked by Congress, business Interests and courts was intended to help, which also created friction with this here FTC.

Contact your Senator and Congress member and tell them to fix this, write a paper letter and call their office later to reinforce. That little bit of effort will help everyone, honestly. Pick 2 issues and explain how they're impacted you OR find honest stories online and reference them to explain the volnerabilty to all these unregulated industries create and exploit.

Remember, these companies are selling and sharing data about you to enable point pricing that understands what you want and how badly to provide overpriced or offers to that you don't want or need, and worse. And all this data can be bought by governments here and elsewhere. China has police stations in the US (or had, not sure if all are gone) and throughout Canada even in Europe. Putin sends assasins into the UK and kills civilians in Ukraine every day and night.

Rebecca Griffin
June 05, 2023

I must add, regarding the Amazon ring and lack of safety features, shortly after buying my home, about four years ago, I had a ring device. It ended up being awfully scary and hacked. It was very hard to get rid of these entities, even after Shutting off the Ring service.
When they would tap in to the device(s), ring, echo show, echo dot, the ring device would alert me constantly, of motion detected at the front door, while I was working, or trying to. When I brought this up to the company as a concern, to receive a new ring device, they did not want to supply that option, though the device was under warranty. Also, when your devices get hacked, you might end up with a new phone number. I ended up with a couple, however, I lost all access to my Amazon account because I could not confirm my identity through a new phone number and email. I now refuse to do business with the company, because there are other ways of verifying your identity. And, too, it is very nice to fulfill your promises to your customers.

June 05, 2023

There should be a class action against Alexa andits makers