Amazon employees reportedly had access to the purchase history of celebrities like Kanye West

A new survey of the Wired and Reveal sites on Amazon had the effect of a bomb. She says the internal security of the data managed by the company was so weak that employees with little responsibility were able to poke around in the purchase history of customers – including celebrities. An anonymous former Amazon representative told Wired he had seen his colleagues check the purchase history of rapper Kanye West, as well as famous actors – whose names have not been released – from the “Avengers” movies from Marvel.

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He also claimed that colleagues looked at the purchase history of an anonymous celebrity who bought dildos. Other sources inside Amazon told Wired they had seen colleagues use their access to customer data to search for information about their exes. “Everyone, everyone was doing it,” a former customer service manager told Wired.

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An Amazon spokesperson refuted the idea that the practice was widespread. This statement was conveyed to Insider: “The company has invested and continues to invest in technology tools and procedures that limit access to only data essential to complete a particular assignment. We have strict policies regarding ‘appropriate access to customer data and we require all customer service representatives to complete training and certify that they are in compliance with these policies. We investigate any complaints of breaches and take appropriate action. We strongly reject the idea that abuse of these privileges is ‘common’ “.

The Wired article is based on interviews with former employees as well as memos and internal documents from 2015 to 2018. It paints a portrait of a data architecture so sprawling that Amazon had no control over it. security.

Gary Gagnon, who was vice president of Amazon’s IT security team in 2017, told Wired that when he arrived, Amazon’s security systems were “shocking.” “It was all put together with duct tape and chewing gum,” Gary Gagnon told Wired.

An Amazon spokesperson told Wired that the company has an “outstanding record in protecting customer data.” “We have invested billions of dollars over the years to put in place systems and processes to secure data, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve,” he added.

Representatives for Kanye West declined to answer Insider’s questions.

Amazon wouldn’t be the only tech company where employees have used their data access to spy on users. In 2020, former Uber employees told Bloomberg that members of the rideshare giant’s security team accessed celebrity accounts, including one belonging to Beyoncé. In September 2020, six consultants were charged with bribing Amazon employees for more than $ 100,000 (€ 88,000) to help sellers gain an advantage over their competitors.

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Version originale : Isobel Asher Hamilton / Insider

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