Amazon fires many employees for leaking customer data

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Amazon recently fired many employees that were involved in leaking customer email addresses and phone numbers to an unspecified third party. It is the second time, this week the technology giant acknowledged some workers had improperly accessed customer data.

“We are writing to let you know that your email address and phone number were disclosed by an Amazon employee to a third party in violation of our policies,” Amazon’s customer service team said in an email to a customer shared Friday on Twitter.

“The individuals responsible for this incident have been terminated and we are supporting law enforcement in their prosecution,” a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company said in a statement. She declined to say how many Amazon employees were fired, who received the information or how many customers were involved.

Earlier this week, Amazon-owned video doorbell maker Ring told US senators it had fired at least four employees for improperly seeking to access customer videos during the last four years.

According to a report in CNBC, Amazon acknowledged a nearly identical incident in October 2018, when it fired an employee for sharing customer email addresses with a third party. In November 2018, Amazon disclosed an incident wherein an unknown number of customer names and email addresses were exposed due to a “technical error.” The company also said it was investigating claims of employees leaking data for bribes, following a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Third-party sellers have become increasingly crucial to Amazon’s overall business, allowing it to greatly expand the selection of products available on its site. The marketplace now represents more than half of Amazon’s overall sales and has attracted millions of third-party sellers who sell products on the platform.

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