Just a few days before Black Friday, the biggest shopping season of the year, Amazon has been hit by an unexplained customer data leak.
Customers were contacted by Amazon to warn them that their names and email addresses had been ‘inadvertently disclosed.’ It is still unclear as to how many customers were affected by this leak and how it happened in the first place. “We have fixed the issue and informed customers who may have been impacted,” said Amazon in a statement.
“I wouldn’t hurry with premature conclusions until all technical details of the incident become clear,” said Ilia Kolochenko, CEO and Founder of High-Tech Bridge. “Based on the information currently available, it is technically incorrect to call this incident a ‘data breach.’ This rather looks like an inadvertent programming error that made some details of Amazon’s profiles publicly available to random people.”
The firm said the issue was not a breach of its website or any of its systems, but a technical issue that inadvertently posted customer names and email addresses to its website. Although the information leaked was not as serious as credit card information, industry experts still recommend customers to change their passwords as a precaution.
“Unfortunately, even such companies as Amazon are not immune from such omissions,” added Kolochenko. “Our IT systems become more convoluted and intricate every day, inevitably causing more human errors. Amazon’s reaction seems to be quite prompt, however an official statement would certainly be helpful to prevent any speculation and unnecessary exaggeration of the incident and its scope.”
UK data regulator the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – which Amazon must inform of any data breach as part of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduced this year – said it was following the situation.
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