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Amazon's Echo Dot Kids violates privacy regulations, child advocates say

And those advocates want the FTC to investigate.

Erin Carson Former Senior Writer
Erin Carson covered internet culture, online dating and the weird ways tech and science are changing your life.
Expertise Erin has been a tech reporter for almost 10 years. Her reporting has taken her from the Johnson Space Center to San Diego Comic-Con's famous Hall H. Credentials
  • She has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.
Erin Carson

Child advocates have concerns over the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Children's advocates want the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon over privacy concerns.

Nineteen consumer and public health advocacy groups, led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, said Thursday that they're asking the Federal Trade Commission to look into Amazon's Echo Dot Kids Edition.

The device is collecting sensitive data on children that parents can't delete, which would violate the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the groups said.

According to the FTC, COPPA is supposed to give parents control over the information that websites and online services can collect on kids under 13. 

Watch this: You deleted your Alexa voice recordings, but the text records are still there

Advocates say that's not happening. 

"Amazon markets Echo Dot Kids as a device to educate and entertain kids, but the real purpose is to amass a treasure trove of sensitive data that it refuses to relinquish even when directed to by parents," Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said in a statement.

An  Amazon  spokesperson denied any COPPA violation. "FreeTime on Alexa and Echo Dot Kids Edition are compliant with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)," the spokesperson said in a statement, while also directing customers to Alexa's privacy practices.

In a blog post published Thursday, Amazon covered its FreeTime service, which is supposed to help parents manage how their kids use their devices, as well as how parents can delete info associated with their child's profile.

The FTC declined to comment.

Originally published May 9.
Update, May 10: Adds info from Amazon blog post.