Technology 2 min read

Amazon's Echo Dot Accused of Illegally Recording Children's Conversation

Consumer advocates have filed a complaint against Amazon's Echo Dot Kid's Edition due to the belief that they are illegally recording and storing children's conversations.

Image via Amazon

Image via Amazon

Amazon may be recording and storing your kids’ conversations.

Consumer advocates and privacy groups recently filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission stating that Amazon is illegally collecting and storing conversations via its Echo Dot Kids Edition device.

According to the 96-page document, the company stores recordings from the device in the cloud indefinitely. That means, parents often have to take an active step to delete their personal information.

While the removal process should be reasonably straightforward, the complaint states that it isn’t. It requires a long and complicated process to delete the soundbites from the cloud.

For example, users have to listen to every recording to determine the information to delete, and which to keep. In other cases, a parent may need to contact the customer service to remove the child’s entire profile.

Unfortunately, scrubbing the profile comes with a major downside.

Not only would you lose the basic functions that make the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition suitable for children, but you’ll also lose essential features such as parental control.

The complaints further explain that recordings from the Amazon device provide valuable insight into how its users “learn, play, and acquire new information.” With access to such information, Amazon could develop new products that are more tailored to its consumers in the future.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers also sent a letter to the FTC requesting that the agency investigate the matter.

In the letter, Senator Edward J. Markey, D-Mass. said that the finding brings up “serious concerns about the extent to which the Echo Dot Kids Edition complies” with the law.

The letter reads:

“Children are a uniquely vulnerable population. We urge the Commission to take all necessary steps to ensure their privacy.”

However, Amazon denies any wrongdoing.

Speaking to Business Insider, a spokeswoman from the company said that the Echo Dot Kids Edition is compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. “Amazon does not collect personal information or share audio recordings,” she said.

As far as privacy issues go, this is not Amazon’s first rodeo. In 2018, some users raised concerns when they discovered that their Alexa device recorded and forwarded personal conversations to friends.

At the time, Amazon stated that it was a rare occurrence.

Read More: Police Commit Rights Abuse Using Amazon Rekognition Tech

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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