Senators Press Amazon on Echo, Alexa Data Protections

"Alexa, are you compromising our personal data?" That is the question a bipartisan pair of senators want Amazon to answer.

Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) have written CEO Jeff Bezos seeking information on the design and privacy features of Echo devices and their Alexa software. The senators are the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Judiciary Privacy and Technology Subcommittee.

Related: House E&C Leaders Hammer Facebook

Edge providers are increasingly under bipartisan scrutiny in Washington, particularly over data privacy and security issues.

“Recent reports have raised serious questions about how Amazon collects and stores voice data, and what steps are being taken to make sure this information is not shared without consumers’ consent," said Coons.“Since these technologies are so new, it’s unclear how these devices work and what steps are being taken to protect consumers’ privacy," said Flake. "I look forward to working with Amazon and other companies as we continue to explore ways in which these technologies can flourish.”

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.