Online retail giant Amazon fired several employees this week after they leaked private customer data to an undisclosed third-party. If reading that gives you some serious déjà vu, it’s probably because the same damn thing happened less than six months ago.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the news with multiple outlets after several customers received notifications from the company warning that their email addresses and phone numbers had been leaked “to a third-party in violation of our policies,” per a screenshot shared by TechCrunch. The email goes on to say that the Amazon employee—singular—responsible has since been identified and fired. However, a later company statement appears to imply there were multiple Amazon defectors behind the leak:
“The individuals responsible for this incident have been terminated and we are supporting law enforcement in their prosecution,” an Amazon spokesperson told Gizmodo via email.
After the company’s internal systems detected “suspicious behaviour,” the spokesperson continued, all employees involved were immediately terminated. As for exactly how many employees that may be, or how many customers were affected by the data breach, Amazon remains inveterately tight-lipped as ever. Amazon’s spokesperson declined to elaborate beyond the company’s official statement above.
It all makes for an embarrassing start to the new year given Amazon’s myriad customer data breaches that wrapped up 2019. In one case, the Wall Street Journal found evidence of several Amazon employees hawking customer data to sellers in exchange for bribes. However, it remains unclear whether this week’s incident involved any similar quid pro quo.
Ring, an Amazon-owned home security camera company, hasn’t been faring much better. Just earlier this week, the company fired an undisclosed number of employees after receiving multiple complaints that they’d been using Ring’s cameras to spy on customers.