Amazon comes under further fire over privacy policy

Despite a recent agreement by Amazon.com Inc. to bolster its privacy policy amid concerns that it did not go far enough to protect consumers' personal information, privacy groups urged state authorities to further rein in Amazon's data collection habits Tuesday, calling the online retailer untrustworthy.

In a letter sent to more than a dozen state attorneys general, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and other officials, the privacy advocates called for further changes to Amazon's privacy policy that would allow consumers to have greater control over their information, including the ability to keep their purchase records from being transferred and dissociate their identity from any or all transactions.

"As a general principle, bookstores should not be selling dossiers on their customers' reading habits," the letter says.

Amazon reached an agreement with state regulators last month to curtail the sharing of consumer information with third parties after coming under pressure from consumer groups, privacy advocates and government authorities. But despite the deal, some privacy groups are claiming that Amazon still has not done enough to protect consumers' personal information, and are requesting that authorities take further measures to restrict the e-tailer's use of consumer data.

"Amazon actually can put its customers at greater risk than physical-world bookstores or libraries, in that the company can use cookies and personalization technology to track not only book purchases but also book browsing," the letter says.

In their letter sent Tuesday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Junkbusters Corp. asked regulators to require Amazon to obtain customers' consent before transferring personal information in the case that it sells one of its business units, and allow consumers to access and delete certain purchase records or dissociate themselves from their transactions.

Furthermore, the groups asked that the Seattle, Washington, retailer be required to submit to an independent audit to determine its compliance with its privacy policy, saying that the company's prior actions have already shown that it cannot be trusted.

Amazon representatives were not immediately available to comment on the letter Tuesday.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?