Lawsuit: Amazon's Creepy Alexa Eavesdropping On Kids

(RTTNews) - E-Commerce giant Amazon has been sued for violating child privacy laws after Alexa allegedly recorded children's voices without consent, the Seattle Times reported.

The lawsuit alleged that Alexa virtual assistant has recorded audio of millions of children without their or their parents' consent. The company is said to has violated laws regarding recordings in at least eight states. These include Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

A complaint was filed in federal court in Seattle on behalf of a 10-year-old Massachusetts girl, and another one in California Superior Court in Los Angeles on behalf of an 8-year-old boy.

The complaint filed in Seattle seeking class-action status alleged that Alexa routinely records and voiceprints millions of children without the needed consent.

Alexa devices, developed by Amazon, capture and transmit any speech uttered after the wake word, which is "Alexa" by default, activates the device.

The lawsuit also noted that Amazon saves a permanent recording of the user's voice, while other makers of similar devices delete recordings after a short period.

The lawsuit claims, "At no point does Amazon warn unregistered users that it is creating persistent voice recordings of their Alexa interactions, let alone obtain their consent to do so."

Also, Amazon allegedly uses these data to find out the habits and personal information of children for a strong commercial focus.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Amazon employees listen to these recordings, and that they can listen to as many as 1,000 clips during a nine-hour shift. Following the report, Amazon introduced a new feature in which Alexa will delete all voice recordings but the user needs to opt in to activate the deletion command.

The complaints seek the court to order Amazon to delete all recordings of children, and prevent further recordings in the future if no consent.
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