Deleting Alexa recordings doesn't wipe the transcripts


"It is incredibly important not only that Amazon fix these problems but that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) enforce COPPA", said Mr Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, an advocacy group based in Boston and the lead complainant. Amazon never mentions this when you review and delete your voice history from the Alexa privacy page, and there's no way to delete the transcripts yourself.

"Amazon markets Echo Dot Kids as a device to educate and entertain kids, but the real objective is to amass a treasure trove of sensitive data that it refuses to relinquish even when directed to by parents", said CCFC executive director Josh Golin.

Mobile Nations senior editor Russell Holly and Jay Jacobs, head of research and strategy at Global X Funds, on the report that Amazon workers are listening to people's conversations with Alexa.

In a blog post published later Thursday, Amazon said it created the Echo Dot Kids Edition in collaboration with the Family Online Safety Institute and "other leading industry groups, and followed industry best practices for securing verifiable parental consent".

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When Amazon launched its kid's version of the Echo Dot smart speaker, we hoped it would be a technological blessing, rather than a curse. When we did the same experiment with a regular Echo Dot and standard menus in the Alexa app, we were able to delete the information.

These include providing notice to parents about which data on their children will be collected and how it will be used; obtaining parental consent before children use a device that collects their information; and allowing parents to delete data collected by these devices. Parents also must have a way to access personal and potentially sensitive information that's been stored on the devices, and delete it.

In one example the advocates captured on video, a child asks the device to remember some personal information, including her walnut allergy.

"We urge the commission to take all necessary steps to ensure their privacy as "Internet of Things" devices targeting young consumers come to market", the lawmakers wrote, "including promptly initiating an investigation in the Amazon Echo Dot Edition's compliance with COPPA".