Amazon to Pay $25 Million to Settle Children’s Privacy Charges

Amazon agreed on Wednesday to pay a civil penalty of $25 million to settle federal charges that it kept sensitive information collected from children for years, including their precise locations and voice recordings, in violation of a children’s online privacy law.

It was the latest legal action in an intensifying regulatory effort to require some of the world’s largest tech platforms to better safeguard their younger users.

The case, brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department, centers on Amazon’s handling of the personal details it collected from children who conversed with Alexa, the company’s voice-activated virtual assistant.

In a legal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, regulators said the tech giant had kept young people’s Alexa voice recordings indefinitely and used the data for business purposes like training its algorithm to understand children, violating the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

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