All prime internet companies have to submit on a bi-annual basis a report of how many demands for data it receives from the US government (and others). After the incident of the PRISM surveillance, nine tech companies were accused of being involved in NSA surveillance, the tech industry wanted more transparency. Later the telcos also started releasing their own figures, beginning with Verizon.
Amazon was inquired for not disclosing its figures yet. After a detailed exchange, spokesperson Ty Rogers did not return a request for comment. Bill Way, the company’s associate general counsel for privacy, did not return an email asking for comment.
Nicole Ozer, at the ACLU’s Northern California branch,reported Amazon’s silence as “puzzling” in the wake of the NSA revelations.”All the major tech companies, even the telcos, have issued transparency reports, and yet Amazon, which deals with so much sensitive customer data and a mountain of business data, hasn’t released a transparency report,” she said.
Amazon has not planned a budget outlays for its privacy issues. As Amazon has not provided evidence for how it manages data requests, it is being ranked as one of the lowest companies in the Electronic Frontier Foundations’s (EFF) annual privacy reports.
According to the privacy group, “Amazon has a tremendous amount of user data, both from its direct retail businesses and from its hosting services through Amazon Web Services, but it fails to let users, and potential users, evaluate their policies and understand how law enforcement seeks to gain access to data stored with them,”.
Amazon is using its smartphone and tablet line-up to collect more data including browsing history through its Silk browser, reading habits, and other data like IP addresses. The company has been criticized for moving into the enterprise and work-based email provider space.