Amazon Pays $30.8M to Settle Ring Spying & Alexa Privacy Lawsuits

The global e-commerce company will pay millions of dollars in two separate lawsuits because of privacy and security violations, the FTC says.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

June 1, 2023

1 Min Read
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Because of the complaints made by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Amazon has agreed to pay a combined $30.8 million to settle privacy allegations regarding its Alexa assistant and Ring doorbell units. 

Part of the settlement is $5.8 million paid on behalf of its Ring division. After accusations that employees at the company were spying on female customers in bedrooms and bathrooms, the FTC charged the company on the basis of failing to implement protections to stop intruders from accessing people's accounts and devices. In addition, Ring failed to take any steps in notifying customers or obtaining consent for training purposes until 2018, resorting to burying this kind of information in their terms of service and privacy policy.

"Ring's disregard for privacy and security exposed consumers to spying and harassment," Samuel Levine, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "The FTC's order makes clear that putting profit over privacy doesn't pay." 

Separate from this suit is one against Amazon's Alexa in which the company violated the FTC Act and Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by harboring the information of thousands of children through profiles made with Alexa. Amazon will pay $25 million to settle that lawsuit.

Requiring approval by a federal judge, under a new proposed order Ring will be required to delete any unlawfully viewed data as well as update their security features. Amazon's Alexa will be required to delete the inactive accounts of children as well as any voice recordings and geolocation information. 

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Dark Reading Staff

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