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This is Edwin Kwan from Sydney Australia. While smart home assistant and home surveillance cameras are meant to make our lives better, ever wonder just how private and secure is your data that’s being collected? The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) are accusing Amazon of privacy violations for their Ring Camera System and Alexa Smart Home Assistant. For the Ring case that’s brought by the FTC, Amazon is accused of compromising its customers’ privacy by granting private video access to every employee, instead of limiting access to just those who needed the access to perform their job function. It also highlighted a specific instance where an Amazon employee viewed thousands of video recordings of female users in private spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms over several month. According to the proposed order, Ring will have to pay $5.8 million in refunds to consumers. In a separate case, both the FTC and DOJ are charging Amazon with violating children’s privacy laws after failing to delete their alexa voice recordings and geolocation information on their parents’ requests. Under this proposed order, Amazon must pay $25 million and delete the children’s data per their parents’ requests.

This segment was created for the It’s 5:05 podcast