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Data security slip-up casts shadow over Amazon’s holiday sales

The social media was abuzz with messages shared by Amazon (AMZN) customers about the exposure of their personal information on the online platform. In yet another episode of data-breach involving tech companies,  names and email addresses of several Amazon customers got leaked in cyberspace Wednesday.

Interestingly, the incident occurred just ahead of Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, taking the sheen off the e-commerce giant’s busy weekend sales. This is the time of the year when people start thronging the website for shopping. Having set the tone for the holiday sales by rolling out promotional offers a week ago, the Amazon site is currently busy taking orders.

The incident occurred just ahead of Thanksgiving Day, taking the sheen off the company’s busy weekend sales

While communicating the matter to the affected customers, Amazon attributed the slip-up to a ‘technical error’. The company also claimed to have resolved the issue and informed customers that there is no need to change the passwords. While the email containing the message is believed to have been sent to customers around the world, there is no clarity on the number of persons affected and the extent to which security was compromised.

An individual’s personal information, such as phone number and email ID, falling into the wrong hands is of serious consequences as the same could be used for spamming and cyber-attacks. Some of those who received the email have expressed concern over the general laxity on the part of the company in maintaining the confidentiality of those who use its website.

Retail sector may be heading to a dry holiday season

Presuming that the company acted in accordance with the recent order by European regulators that data breaches should be brought to the users’ notice within three days, the latest incident appears to have occurred recently. Under the revised rules, Amazon is obliged to inform the matter to the authorities in charge of cybersecurity in the respective regions.

Meanwhile, the market was slightly moved by the whole incident and Amazon shares pared some of their early gains as trading progressed on Wednesday.

 

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