It’s hardly a surprise. Neither is the utter inaction from “your” elected officials. Nor is the insouciance of the American Sheeple. But, spy they do.
A coalition of 19 consumer and privacy groups plans to file a complaint Thursday alleging that Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition is illegally collecting voice recordings and other identifying information on users under 13 and that the system’s parental controls are flawed.
The complaint says that the Echo Dot Kids Edition – a colorful, youth-oriented version of Amazon’s popular “smart speaker” systems that allow users to ask questions, play music or control thermostats with voice commands – violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, known as COPPA. The 1998 law sharply limits what data companies can collect without permission from parents.
The 98-page complaint is the latest in a series by consumer and privacy groups urging the Federal Trade Commission to intensify its enforcement of how leading technology companies treat children and their personal data. The Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center served as counsel to the groups on the complaint.
“It is incredibly important not only that Amazon fix these problems but that the FTC enforce COPPA,” said Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, an advocacy group based in Boston and the lead complainant. “What we need is a COPPA cop on the beat.”
Mea COPPA. Waiting for that government beat cop is going to be a long wait. Take matters into your own hands; get your kids off the social dragnets.