Amazon.com Subsidiary Settles Privacy Suit

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Alexa Internet, an Amazon.com subsidiary and Web surfing monitor, settled a class-action lawsuit last week that accused it of violating users' privacy, according to published reports.


The suit claimed that the San Francisco-based firm sent personal information about the users to its parent company, Amazon.com, which acquired Alexa in 1999.


Although Alexa admitted to no wrongdoing, it agreed to delete some personally identifiable information collected prior to November 2000 as well as to pay up to $40 each to class members who are located on its database.


Total payments by Alexa will not exceed $1.9 million.


U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington -- the district in which Seattle-based Amazon.com operates -- preliminarily approved the settlement.


Alexa now will require users to opt in to data collection prior to downloading its software.


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