As Amazon has become the largest online retailer in the United States, it has used that status to accumulate a massive amount of private personal information on its customers. Reuters reports that in recent years, internal documents have revealed how a former aide to Joe Biden helped the tech giant assemble a corporate lobbying machine that has gutted privacy protections across at least 25 states that sought to give consumers more control over their data. These lobbying “victories” are detailed by Amazon executives and staff in confidential documents obtained by Reuters.
The internal documents show that in Virginia alone, Amazon multiplied its political donations tenfold over the course of four years before convincing state lawmakers in 2021 to pass an industry-friendly privacy bill that the company itself had drafted. In California, Amazon lobbied against proposed restrictions on the industry’s collection and sharing of consumer voice recordings gathered by tech devices. And in Washington, Amazon lobbied hard and won numerous exemptions and amendments to a bill regulating biometric data, including voice recordings and facial scans, such that the 2017 law had almost zero impact on Amazon’s practices.
The Reuters piece is the third in a series of reports revealing how Amazon has pursued business practices that harm small businesses and put its own interests above those of consumers.
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