by Jessica Corbett, Activist Post
A coalition of consumer and public health groups demanded Thursday that federal regulators investigate and sanction Amazon for its Echo Dot Kids Edition, arguing that the device illegally collects and retains children’s personal data.
The brightly colored, always-on listening device “will play music, answer questions, read stories, tell jokes, and more — all with younger ears in mind,” according to Amazon. “The included one year of FreeTime Unlimited gives your kids access to thousands of hours of fun and educational content, including ad-free radio stations and playlists, Audible books, and a growing list of premium kids skills.”
Amazon maintained in statements to reporters on Thursday that Echo Dot Kids Edition and FreeTime comply with federal privacy rules—but 19 groups, led by Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), disagree.
In a complaint submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Thursday, the coalition charged that the device violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), based on the findings of an investigation conducted by CCFC and the Institute for Public Representation (IPR) at Georgetown Law.
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