Is Amazon Violating Kids’ Privacy?

Apr 23, 2003

By George Anderson

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Consumer Federation of America, and other groups have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging is violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

The groups accuse Amazon of collecting personal information on children such as email addresses and birthdays without parental permission. If found guilty of the charges, Amazon could be liable for up to $11,000 per count, reports Reuters.

A spokesperson for, Bill Curry, said the retailer was not subject to the law since its target audience is adults. Mr. Curry emphasized, “We sell products for children to adults with credit cards.”

Moderator’s Comment: Do you think Amazon has violated
the privacy of children visiting the site? What are your thoughts on consumer
privacy and the Internet?

We applaud the vigilance of those seeking to protect our
children from harm. In this particular case, however, we think the groups in
question are making much ado about very little.

Amazon may have made mistakes. If they did, the mistakes
were neither intentional nor nefarious. Bill Curry told Reuters, “I’m reminded
of the New Yorker cartoon that says, ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a
dog.’ When we learn of inappropriate things on the site we take them down.”
Anderson – Moderator

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