• From USA Today:
"Amazon will have to pay more than $30 million in consumer refunds and fines for violating the privacy of customers who own Alexa and Ring devices under settlement agreements filed Wednesday.
"In one complaint, the Federal Trade Commission alleged that Amazon not only failed to delete the voice data of children at the request of their parents, but also kept the recordings indefinitely in order to refine its algorithm.
"In another, the FTC accuses Ring ‒ now owned by Amazon – of allowing its employees to access customers’ private videos and exposing them to hackers.
"In the first instance, Amazon violated federal protection laws, the FTC said. In the second, Ring’s actions committed 'egregious violations of users’ privacy.'
"In a statement sent to USA Today, Amazon said the company takes its 'responsibilities to our customers and their families very seriously … While we disagree with the FTC’s claims regarding both Alexa and Ring, and deny violating the law, these settlements put these matters behind us."
• From the Seattle Times:
"Hundreds of Amazon employees briefly walked off the job Wednesday, calling on the company to reconsider its return-to-office mandate and curb its greenhouse gas emissions.
"Outside Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, standing underneath a banner that urged the company to stop its 'short-term thinking,' Pamela Hayter told her colleagues she wasn’t nervous about speaking out anymore.
"'We’re here today because it’s the right thing to do,' the Seattle-based program manager said. 'I’ve not been nervous. I’ve been fired up.'
"On Wednesday, nearly 2,000 Amazon employees joined the walkout, according to organizers who gathered pledges before action took place. Of those pledges, roughly 900 had planned to gather outside Amazon’s headquarters in South Lake Union while another 1,000 would join from offices elsewhere."