Amazon Hammered Over Election Data Security

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Privacy and civil rights groups want some answers from Amazon over election security, or the lack of it.

That came in a letter condemning the company for election security failures and seeking more transparency about how they have responded to breaches of election data. 

That followed a report from Reuters that voter information stored by Amazon in the cloud had been breached multiple times, breaches they argue could be weaponized to manipulate the 2020 election.

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"Amazon needs to be transparent about their response to these breaches, so the public can evaluate the security of the election system and the steps Amazon is taking," they said.

They conceded that Amazon maintains the infrastructure and it is up to customers to secure their data, but they add that the election system is not an everyday customer. 

"If a car seat manufacturer didn’t provide proper instructions to make sure people installed their car seats correctly, and it put infants in harm’s way, people would blame the manufacturer for its negligence," they said. "It’s reasonable to expect a corporation the size of Amazon, handling contracts for the government, to devote resources to ensuring those accounts are safe."

Among those signing on to the letter included Demand Progress, Color of Change, and Fight for the Future. 

"Amazon provides election services for more than 40 states," said Fight for the Future executive director Evan Greer. "With the election weeks away, we still don't know the extent of the breaches of election data or whether the issues reported have even been addressed by Amazon," Greer said. 

The letter was released the same day that the Senate voted to compel other Big Tech companies--Google, Facebook, Twitter--to testify over issues including election security and data protection.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.