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19 Advocacy Groups Have Accused Amazon Of Using The Echo Dot Kid's Edition To Illegally Collect Data From Children

19 Advocacy Groups Have Accused Amazon Of Using The Echo Dot Kid's Edition To Illegally Collect Data From Children

In the spring on 2018, Amazon released the Amazon Echo Dot Kid's Edition, a version of the voice-activated virtual assistant technology with parental controls and other features for children.

However, a little more than a year later, "19 consumer advocate and privacy groups" have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission claiming Amazon is illegally recording children's voices and private information.

The complaint claims that Alexa records kids voices and stores those recordings in its own cloud unless a parent or guardian takes deliberate steps to have them deleted.

The 19 advocacy groups also claim removing the soundbites is a needless difficult process even once parents try to do so.

To find out what information the dot had collected, parents would need to listen to every recording.

Alternately, parents could also contact customer service to have the child's entire profile and recordings deleted, which would result in the dot losing many of its child-friendly features.

The complaint speculated at Amazon's motivations for collecting information on children, saying these recordings could provide information on how kids "learn, play, and acquire new information," which could then be used to design new products.

A spokesperson for Amazon told Business Insider that "the device is compliant with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. She also stressed that Amazon does not collect personal information or share audio recordings."

Amazon's Echo products have worried privacy advocates since their debut.

Though the company repeatedly claims the device sometimes makes recordings for internal use only, Alexa has been known to occasionally record people's conversations and send them to friends unexpectedly.

What's more, several former Amazon employees spoke about how Amazon employees share recordings amongst each other.

Several Senators are now pushing for the FTC to investigate Amazon's child recordings.

Time will tell how this issue plays out. It's possible, depending on the results of the investigation, that Amazon might be forced to roll back its child recording practices.