A complaint filed with the FTC claims that Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting and storing data gained from children.
The Echo Dot complaint filed by multiple child and privacy advocacy groups, takes Amazon to task for allegedly collecting and storing information from kids, even after their parents delete the stored data.
Reportedly, the marketing around the device indicates that the Echo Dot Kids Edition is designed to educate and entertain children, making parents and children believe that it is harmless.
The device differs from the original Echo Dot by having parent controls and easily accessible kid-friendly books from Audible and kid-friendly radio stations.
Additionally, the Echo Dot reportedly is ad-free, and blocks shopping and news. However, it does have many “skills” or features, most of which are made by third parties, including Disney, Nickelodeon, and National Geographic.
Though it is advertised as safe and convenient, the FTC complaint states that it violates federal privacy law, including the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act of 1996, which prevents organizations from collecting information about children under the age of 13 without their parents’ explicit consent.
The Echo device allegedly has a mechanism that requires parents to give consent for the Echo Dot to collect a child’s information, but “Amazon does not specify that the person setting up the account must be a parent.” According to the complaint, this means that even an older sibling or neighbor could be the one setting up the account.
According to the Echo Dot Kid’s Edition privacy complaint, the COPPA also requires that all information collected about a child should only be stored to complete necessary tasks.
The Echo complaint assert that Amazon further violates COPPA by storing the data perpetually. This was allegedly determined when a child told the Echo Dot sensitive information, the parent tried to delete it, and but the device retained the information and recited it back to the child.
According to the Echo Dot complaint, Amazon further gives parents the illusion of control and security when using the device by giving parents the option to delete the information stored, but allegedly, this information is kept nonetheless.
“Children may reveal that they are feeling sad or being bullied at school. Amazon will transcribe these ‘conversations,’ associate them with a specific child via a persistent identifier, and store them forever in the cloud,” the complaint states.
Another privacy issue raised by the Echo Dot class action lawsuit is that other children’s privacy may be violated if, for instance, a child who has an Echo Dot has a playdate and not every other child’s parent has consented to have their child’s information collected, and the Echo Dot turns on and collects information about other children.
The complaint before the FTC explains that this sensitive information is being collected from the privacy of a kid’s bedroom and provides Amazon with insights into “how they learn, how they play, and how they acquire new information.”
The advocacy groups are asking the FTC to investigate Amazon’s alleged failure to protect kid’s privacy through this device.
Join an Amazon Echo Dot Kids Class Action Lawsuit Investigation
If you own an Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition and it is used by a child under 13 years of age, you may qualify to join this Amazon Kids Echo privacy class action lawsuit investigation.
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