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Amazon Charged with FTC Privacy Violations Over Ring Cameras and Alexa Devices – NBC Chicago

They are the devices you can have in your home, to make life more comfortable and even safer.

However, the Federal Trade Commission says that Ring cameras and Amazon Alexa products have been violating the privacy of their owners.

Amazon now has to pay millions of dollars for these serious charges, which violate federal law.

“It makes me feel very scared and honestly violated,” Ring user Lourdes Johnson told NBC Chicago.

People are concerned after learning that their privacy might have been compromised by Ring and Alexa. The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice charged Amazon after finding evidence of employees illegally accessing user cameras.

“That’s not good because they store that information and the videos and stuff,” Alexa user Tommy Nee told NBC Chicago. “You don’t know how it’s going to be used!”

In the complaint, the FTC explains how a Ring employee viewed thousands of video recordings belonging to users monitoring intimate spaces in their homes, such as their bathrooms or bedrooms.

The FTC also accuses Ring of failing to implement standard security measures, which resulted in hackers exploiting accounts, taunting multiple children with racial slurs, propositioning people sexually, and even threatening a family with physical harm. if they did not pay a ransom.

“They have a responsibility to protect consumers’ sensitive video data,” said Elisa Jillson of the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC has come down hard on Ring, which is owned by Amazon, requiring it to encrypt users’ videos and data and pay $5.8 million in refunds to consumers. The allegations against Amazon’s Alexa are even more troubling.

“This case is about a company that put profits before privacy and that is not acceptable,” Jillson said.

The FTC and the Justice Department have accused Amazon of violating children’s privacy law by keeping children’s Alexa voice recordings forever despite a parent’s request for removal.

“As a parent, you should know that you are protected by children’s privacy laws and that the FTC vigorously enforces those laws,” he added.

Amazon has been ordered to pay $25 million for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule, and the company must also delete children’s data.

Amazon responded to the charges in a statement that said in part: “While we disagree with the FTC’s assertions regarding Alexa and Ring, and deny violating the law, these settlements leave these matters behind.”