Here Is How Police Can Request Customer Data From Amazon and It's A Bit Problematic!

Amazon offers a web portal that largely remains helpful for law enforcement agencies when they want to obtain a customer's data. If anyone from police or federal agents wishes to make the similar request then they are required to go through a verification process. But that is also where the trouble begins as parts of the portal automatically load without the user’s need to log in.

Right when a police agent goes up to Amazon’s law enforcement request portal, he or she is supposed to submit a formal request for customer data which must be backed up by a legal order such as a subpoena, search warrant, or even upon court’s order. While the portal can be accessed easily online, there is also another requirement for agents to first register an account with authenticated credentials.

In short, the person in charge is first bound to let Amazon know that they are authorized law enforcement officers even when it is a matter of sensitive emergency requests.

Without a formal request, the portal shows no data or even doesn’t provide any kind of access to the law enforcement requests that already exist in the system. But with majority of the system placed well, there are parts of the website that open without the need for an agent to login without the required information. These parts include the all important things like the dashboard and the standard request form where law enforcement officers enter the details regarding a particular customer.

Looking at these parts, you get to understand how Amazon handles requests coming from such authorities.

There is a list of data points that the agent has to fill up to request customer data like amazon order numbers, serial numbers of Amazon Echo and Fire devices, credit cards details and bank account numbers, gift cards, delivery and shipping numbers, and also the Social Security number of delivery drivers.

This form also gives liberty to the law enforcement to get the records of Amazon’s Web Services as well used by an account with the help of entering domain names or IP addresses in the request.

If by now, any of you is wondering that this might be a bug then Tech Crunch sent a number of emails to confirm the error but Amazon hasn’t responded back with anything as of yet.

Amazon is not the only one in the tech world that offers the facility of law enforcement requests. Just like them, Google and Twitter also have their own portals built for the similar purpose. And the situation, in fact, is also very similar for social giants like Facebook and Whatsapp, as Motherboard reported the same issues with their law enforcement portals at the start of this month.

Who is really secure? No one, unfortunately!



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H/T: TC.

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