Amazon employee fired over email data debacle

Amazon employee fired over email data debacle

Amazon has fired an employee who shared customer email addresses with an outside seller.

This news follows reports that Amazon employees had previously sold company sales data, the email addresses of product reviewers and the ability to delete negative reviews to external parties.

Of the most recent incident, an Amazon statement read: “The individual responsible for this incident has been terminated from their position, and we are supporting law enforcement in their prosecution.”

Why is this important?

Failure to protect the personal data of your customers can breach data protection laws leading to a firm being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Just last month, health insurance business Bupa was fined £175,000 after a staff member tried to sell customer data online.

The ICO said that that Bupa was culpable because they had failed to recognise the risks involved.

Steve Eckersley, ICO Director of Investigations, noted: “Bupa failed to recognise that people's personal data was at risk and failed to take reasonable steps to secure it. Our investigation found material inadequacies in the way Bupa safeguarded personal data. 

“The inadequacies were systemic and appear to have gone unchecked for a long time. On top of that, the ICO's investigation found no satisfactory explanation for them.”

A failure to keep personal data secure is a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

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Under GDPR, firms should have had a root and stem re-assessment of what data they were holding, what it was used for.

According to the ICO, it “required organisations to be able to show how they comply with the data protection principles.”

Another Amazon news story

Being one of the richest firms on the planet, Amazon’s workplace practises, mishaps, and negligence are always going to attract attention.

This time round, they had to send a shamed-faced email to the customers affected.

The email read:


We are writing to let you know that your email address was disclosed by an Amazon employee to a third-party seller on our website in violation of our policies. As a result, the employee has been terminated and we are supporting law enforcement in their prosecution. The third-party seller has been blocked from selling on our website. No other information related to your account was shared.

This is not a result of anything you have done, and there is no need for you to take any action.

Thank you,

Amazon Customer Service”

They have declined to comment further. However, this is not the only employee-centred news story that Amazon are involved in.

Recently, the internet-based retailer revealed it would raise their minimum wage after ongoing criticism.

They also had to defend against perceived use of online ‘employee bots’ which were firmly rejecting the image of the company as an employer who works it’s workers too hard and pays them too little.

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