Alexa Secretly Collects Information Without Prior Consent – Class Action
Amazon’s virtual assistant AI device, Alexa, is in the middle of a class action lawsuit alleging that the company is using it to snoop on the privacy of millions of device owners all over the United States.
David Terpening Vs. Amazon
The class action lawsuit was filed by the lead plaintiff David Terpening contending that Amazon is secretly collecting information from him and other customers via the Alexa device.
Filed in a federal court in California, Terpening argued that the pieces of information collected from him unknowingly include several forms of personal information.
They range from forms of communication, use, to exact user geographic location.
The complainant shared that he bought an Amazon Alexa device more than four years ago for personal use. Furthermore, he added that he was not aware that the company behind the device is working to collect user information. It is reported that the company collects and keeps such records permanently and indefinitely on their data servers.
In addition, Terpening said that he and other Alexa owners believed Amazon’s marketing claims that their Alexa device would only do its function of listening and following their owners’ commands.
Nevertheless, it is alleged that Amazon, through its Alexa device offering, is gathering a range of user personal information without securing prior express authorization.
But what is the reason behind this move to gather millions of user data? According to the legal action, Amazon uses this treasure trove of personal data for their own business gains.
It is alleged that the company makes use of a combination of techniques concerning humans and technology to analyze and interpret the collected data.
They will then be used to craft a personalized user profile along with other information such as online shopping habits and the like gathered by Amazon through its other subsidiaries.
Plaintiff Terpening is seeking to form a Nationwide Class consisting of Alexa users all over the country who have bought and used Amazon’s Alexa; those who have downloaded the Alexa application on their mobile devices are included as well.
The Alexa privacy class action lawsuit is asking the court to charge Amazon with several violations, including possible transgressions of different consumer protection and privacy laws.
Asking for reparations for damages and an order to halt allegedly illegal data gathering methods were included in the plaintiff’s filing to the court.
About The Defendant
Amazon, officially known as Amazon.com, Inc., is a Washington-based technology giant. The company has several business ventures and business interests in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and online shopping. Company CEO Jeff Bezos has a tallied net worth of $186 billion, making him the richest person in the world.
Editor’s Note on Alexa Privacy Class Action Lawsuit:
This news article features the latest class action lawsuit filed against Amazon. It alleges that the company uses its Alexa device to illegally obtain sensitive private information from users without their consent.
Case Name(s) & No.: Terpening v. Amazon.com, Inc.; Case No. 5:21-cv-03739
Jurisdiction: United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Products/Services Involved: Amazon’s Alexa
Allegation(s): Alexa collected and stored different types of user information without prior permission of the owner.
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