Amazon under scrutiny over alleged child privacy violations

first_img Shweta Ganjoo New DelhiMay 10, 2019UPDATED: May 13, 2019 17:08 IST HIGHLIGHTSChild rights and privacy advocates have filed a complaint against Amazon with the FTC.The group has alleged that Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition violates children’s privacy protection law.The group has alleged that Amazon retains children’s Alexa recording even when parents delete it.A coalition of child rights and privacy protection advocates have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging the federal agency to investigate Amazon for violating children’s privacy via its smart speaker for kids – the Amazon Echo Dot Kids.In a 96-page long complaint, a coalition of 19 child’s right and privacy advocates led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), have alleged that Amazon collects sensitive personal information generated during children’s interactions with the Echo Dot Kids and stores it indefinitely violating US’ Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which places certain restrictions on websites and online services that are directed towards children below 13 years of age.The two organisations in their joint investigation also found out that the Seattle headquartered tech giant reportedly retained children’s data even after parents had deleted it. In addition to this, the coalition in its complaint to the FTC has also alleged that Amazon’s parental parental consent mechanism does not verify that the person giving consent for recording conversations with Alexa via the Echo Dot Kids is an adult or more specifically a parent of the child and that the company’s consent mechanism can be “bypassed by a kid with a disposable debit gift card”.Amazon unveiled the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition almost a year back in April 2018. The smart speaker, which is essentially a peppy variant of its old Echo Dot, aside from sporting the features of a standard Echo Dot comes with the FreeTime Unlimited service, which gives access to more than 300 kids audiobooks, kid-friendly radio stations from iHeartRadio Family and third-party Alexa skills from Disney and Nickelodeon among others, and the basic FreeTime service, which blocks certain Alexa featuresand third-party skills. It also allows parents to place a time limit on Alexa usage.advertisement”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,” executive director of CCFC, Josh Golin wrote in a statement.Amazon on its part has denied that its devices – the Amazon Echo Dot Kids in this case – are violating the laws. “FreeTime on Alexa and Echo Dot Kids Edition are compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA),” an Amazon spokesperson told the US-based media channels.Notably, the complaint comes just weeks after an investigative report by Bloomberg detailed that Amazon’s Alexa reviewers have access to users’ exact location and that they can use the coordinates available to them to point out the exact location of an Amazon Echo user’s home. Th report noted that some Amazon employees who review Alexa recordings have access to a tool that displays device information, which includes the location of an Echo device. The report also noted that this information may not be always accurate as Echo devices ask users permission to use their location.ALSO READ: | Amazon’s Alexa team knows where you liveALSO READ: | Not just Alexa, thousands of Amazon workers too are listening to your conversationsALSO READ: | Amazon Echo Show (2018) review: Alexa gets a bigger screenGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShweta Ganjoo Tags :Follow AmazonFollow Amazon AlexaFollow Amazon Echo Dot Amazon under scrutiny over alleged child privacy violationsAmazon on its part has denied the claim that its devices violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.advertisementlast_img read more

Five senior UN officials sworn in today by SecretaryGeneral

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon swore in the new Under-Secretary-Generals for Legal Affairs, Patricia O’Brien, and for Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, at the ceremony, held at UN Headquarters in New York.Ms. O’Brien, who served as Legal Adviser to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland since 2003, becomes the first woman in the world body’s history to hold the post of UN Legal Counsel. As the new head of peacekeeping, Mr. Le Roy is tasked with overseeing almost 110,000 personnel serving in 20 peace operations around the world. The Frenchman has extensive experience in international affairs, both at the political level and in the field, including senior positions with the European Union (EU), the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the UN. Three Assistant Secretary-Generals were also sworn in today: Warren Sach, for the Department of Management’s Central Support Services; Jun Yamazaki, as Controller and for the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts; and Jane Holl Lute, for Peacebuilding Support. 25 August 2008Five high-ranking United Nations officials took their oaths of office today at a swearing-in ceremony in New York before heading to Turin for a two-day retreat for senior managers at the end of the week. read more

Veselin Vujovic Three goals is not unreachable we can beat Magdeburg

← Previous Story VIDEO: Wisla Plock’s hosts Sungul Snezhinsk, atmosphere, opinions, moments of the game Next Story → Bundesliga (Round 14): TuSEM Essen takes their first season point in Wetzlar! carstenskaracicMagdeburgpetricrajkovicrakovicVardar Huge optimism is present in RK Vardar ahead of the game of the season for them. The team lost by three goals in Magdeburg, and now in the return game everybody is convinced that the team has the quality needed to overcome the strong German team’s three goal lead.“I expect 100% from all the players. Three goals is a big lead, but not unreachable. I wish that we play with patience this time, something that has not been our virtue recently. One goal more than Magdeburg every 20 minutes and the victory should come. Magdeburg is a strong team, so must stay calm and patient. My wish is that in the 58th minute we have four goals lead and an attack, and not too early to make a big lead after which Magdeburg will start playing as if they had nothing to lose” – said Vujovic.Good news for Vardar is that Stojance Stoilov is back in the team after issuing an apology to the coach and players. However, Rakovic and Petric are injured and are likely to miss the game. Karacic and Rajkovic have slight injuries, but they expressed their will to play and give everything for the win. read more