Ex Amazon exec says customer data protection was a mess

A former Amazon govt says the corporate doesn’t take customer data protection severely sufficient. “It was put collectively by tape and bubblegum,” ex chief data safety officer Gary Gagnon says in a new report printed at this time by Wired and the Heart for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal. Their investigation paperwork how Amazon’s mission to trace and analyze each transfer we make as shoppers—”what you seek for, what you purchase, what reveals you watch, what tablets you are taking, what you say to Alexa, and who’s at your entrance door”—has backfired into a form of Achilles’ heel for data safety.

Gagnon says when he began in 2017, customer data protection was nearly an afterthought. “It was surprising to me,” he tells Wired and Reveal. New shopper product launches had been shrouded in “utmost secrecy,” but workers got astounding quantities of entry to virtually every thing else, together with customer data—with no checks in place to stop abuse. As well as, he provides the data breaches occurring externally had been “breathtaking.” (Apparently for 2 years, 24 million clients’ names and credit-card numbers sat outdoors Amazon’s safe fee zone, utterly uncovered.)

Gagnon additionally notes his crew numbered about 300 when he was employed, however ought to have been “extra like 1,000.” When he requested for extra assets, international shopper enterprise CEO Jeff Wilke would often flip down the request. Gagnon got here to consider InfoSec was seen as useless weight: Amazon Net Companies’ separate safety crew had the power to generate income by cloud data-protection merchandise, however the shopper crew was seen as draining cash from the cool initiatives that “made Amazon quicker, extra worthwhile, and extra pleasurable.” The publications report Gagnon warned Amazon was increasing too quick, and that the casualty was going to be data safety.


A spokesperson for Amazon issued a generic assertion calling their observe report “distinctive” with regards to defending customer data. The spokesperson notes they’ve additionally invested billions through the years “to construct methods and processes to maintain data safe,” and provides they’re “continually in search of methods to enhance.”