Five Reasons Not to Buy Amazon Electronics

Submitted by ctate on December 3, 2019

A multitude of concerns around devices like Alexa or Ring might make you reconsider purchasing an Amazon electronic. Check out Green America’s five reasons to skip Amazon electronics before letting Amazon into your home.

  1. Youth work overnight to produce Alexa. The Guardian reported that children as young as 16 have been working ten-hour days, as ‘interns’, to meet production demands.
  2. Amazon’s Ring allows police to access your video footage. Forbes reports that you can opt out of allowing police access to your data, but “they can request the footage directly from Amazon if it has been uploaded to the cloud and the request is sent within 60 days of recording - even if you deny police access to that footage.” Though a similar video doorbell service, Nest, has stated that it would not share footage directly with police, experts do have privacy concerns about both services.
  3. Amazon has no public Restricted Substance List (RSL) or Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) for electronics. Amazon does not share which harmful chemicals are and are not allowed in their supply chain; this means workers and consumers could be exposed to harmful chemicals with potentially lasting negative health consequences. An RSL is a list of chemicals that are restricted or banned from the final consumer product, and an MRSL is a list of chemicals that are restricted or banned from the manufacturing process. Amazon has neither a public RSL or MRSL.
  4. Amazon hires thousands of people to listen to your conversations. Bloomberg reported individuals that are hired to review recordings from Alexa noted that sometimes they review “everything the speaker (Alexa) picks up, including background conversations—even when children are speaking. Sometimes listeners hear users discussing private details such as names or bank details…”
  5. Amazon is a huge polluter! Bloomberg recently reported that “Amazon’s emissions exceed the reported totals of United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. as well as Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company), Microsoft Corp. and Target Corp. Learn more and take Green America’s action here.

Bonus: In 2018, multiple studies found that 61% of electronics reviews on Amazon are fake, making it nearly impossible for a consumer to make an informed decision when buying electronics through Amazon. More recently, Consumer Reports found that the problem with fake reviews on Amazon continues.

 

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