Amazon has agreed to pay more than $30m to settle two cases of alleged privacy lapses in its Alexa and security camera unit, Ring.

In the Alexa case, which was brought to court by the Department of Justice and The Federal Trade Commission, the regulators claimed that Amazon violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA Rule).

The company kept data such as voice recordings and geolocation of children who used its voice assistant Alexa.

According to the complaint, the company prevented its users, including parents, from deleting the data, which it kept for years illegally and used to train Alexa’s algorithm.

The company has been ordered, subject to court approval, to pay a civil penalty of $25m to settle the case.

It will also have to delete inactive child accounts and certain voice recordings and geolocation data and will be barred from using such data to train its algorithms.

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FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection director Samuel Levine said: “Amazon’s history of misleading parents, keeping children’s recordings indefinitely, and flouting parents’ deletion requests violated COPPA and sacrificed privacy for profits.

“COPPA does not allow companies to keep children’s data forever for any reason, and certainly not to train their algorithms.”

The second case involving Amazon’s security camera company Ring alleges that the company violated customers’ privacy and failed to implement appropriate security measures.

The FTC claimed that the laxity on Ring’s part allowed unauthorised access to consumers’ private videos, putting their accounts, cameras, and videos at risk of being controlled by hackers.

Levine added: “Ring’s disregard for privacy and security exposed consumers to spying and harassment.”

Ring has been ordered to enhance its privacy and security programme and pay $5.8m, which will be used to refund customers.

In separate statements published on its platform and Ring’s blog, the company stated, “While we disagree with the FTC’s allegations and deny violating the law”, the settlement resolves these so that it can focus on innovating on behalf of its customers.