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Recently, various news outlets have reported on privacy concerns associated with Amazon’s Echo Dot Kid, a smart speaker technology created for children. As it turns out, a number of parents and consumer advocacy groups, have come out stating that this device violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA); one of the few federal privacy laws established in the US (Kelly, 2019). This act was created to protect the privacy rights of children ages 13 and younger and imposes privacy requirements on services and websites that target children.
The parents and advocacy groups involved in this case argue that the Echo Dot Kid illegally retains all data provided to it, much of which pertains to children. Advocates argue that the device is designed in such a way as to retain all data provided to it, making it impossible for users to delete any personal data it might have collected. Due to these suspected privacy violations, a complaint has been filed with the Federal Trade Commision, asking that an investigation be performed on Amazon as well as the smart speaker device in question.
Those involved in this complaint include 19 consumers and public health advocates and is being led by the Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CBS/AP, 2019). These groups argue that the true purpose of the Echo Dot Kid is simply to obtain countless amounts of information, and in so doing so, does not properly delete said information within a reasonable amount of time.
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