Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition accused of child privacy blunders

Campaigners take issue with Amazon's privacy policies

Amazon responds to kids privacy complaint
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Amazon has been accused of violating child privacy laws via the Echo Dot Kids Edition.

Two advocacy groups – Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) ­– have filed a 96 page complaint with the FTC.

There’s a number of issues at play – but the biggest is that Amazon doesn’t delete the voice recordings of children by default, and will often recall supposedly deleted data. Also, it alleges that Amazon doesn’t obtain the consent of other children that may incidentally use the speaker before recording their data.

“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,” CCFC’s executive director, Josh Golin said.

“The FTC must hold Amazon accountable for blatantly violating children’s privacy law and putting kids at risk.”

Amazon has already hit back, releasing a statement that defends its practices and maintains that Alexa is staying on the right side of child privacy laws.

“Amazon has a longstanding commitment to preserve the trust of our customers and their families, we have strict measures and protocols in place to protect their security and privacy, and we adhere to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA),” it said in a statement.

The Amazon Echo Kids Edition was released back in 2018, as a smart speaker for younger children. It uses Amazon FreeTime, a service which provides and ensures age appropriate content on the Amazon platform, such as bed time stories, music, audiobooks and games.

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