(RepublicanPress.org) – What started as an idea in Jeff Bezos’ garage in 1994 eventually became the largest online retailer, now known as Amazon. Billions of people do their shopping with the company, and many own devices like Alexa in an effort to make their lives just a little bit easier. Presumably, privacy policies at Bezos’ tech giant company protect consumer information from exploitation, but do they really? A new report from Reuters says not quite.
While the company appears to have privacy measures in place, the report suggests that Amazon has been lobbying against protections behind the scenes, regarding consumers’ data. As a result, the amount of information collected and stored by the company would shock even the most tech-savvy in America. The mastermind behind the campaign to persuade lawmakers to ease privacy policies is none other than President Joe Biden’s former communications director when he served as the vice president, Jay Carney.
Amazon and Privacy Issues
Although Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy, publicly said the company is “passionate about the privacy” of those using its services, internal documents obtained by Reuters tell a different story. Allegedly, the tech company amassed a group of lobbyists that undermined consumer privacy protections in bills that affect 25 states. Over the last few years, the corporation accumulated a mountain of personal data from its customers and increased political donations to urge lawmakers to vote in the company’s favor regarding the issue.
Carney called the charge to cultivate politicians “watering the flowers” with the goal of persuading influencers in decision-making positions to help shape policy to Amazon’s business advantage. The company also reportedly hosted meetings with key lawmakers in its warehouses to boast about job creation and sway their votes.
Amazon admits that they have lobbyists who make it a point to remind politicians of how many workers they add to the economy in their respective districts. However, the company released a statement following the report denying the allegations, saying that the Reuters story is “flawed” and uses “incomplete drafts of documents to draw incorrect conclusions.”
Congressional Needs for Protection
After reading the recent Reuters report, five Congress members called for federal legislation to protect consumer privacy. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said Amazon shamefully sought to kill privacy legislation while using its devices to watch and listen to Americans and collect data about their everyday lives. He called the strategy a “classic Big Tech move.” Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) called on lawmakers to pass legislation to stop large corporations from “abusing and exploiting” private and personal data for company gain.
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) agreed that the United States needs federal action to protect consumers and stop companies like Amazon whether they “like it or not.” Although there may be an upcoming bipartisan effort to protect people’s data, with the majority of Americans still sharing lots of personal information online, is it too late?
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