Amazon revealed that it has fired the employee responsible for sharing customer email addresses with an outside seller on its platform.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the eCommerce giant said it had identified and fired the employee, and that no other customer data was disclosed. In addition, the seller who received the email addresses was blocked from selling on Amazon.
“The individual responsible for this incident has been terminated from their position, and we are supporting law enforcement in their prosecution,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement.
The news comes after a September report that Amazon was looking into allegations that employees were offering merchants internal data and confidential information that can help them boost sales.
The report, citing sellers who have been offered and purchased the data, said that employees are violating company policies by offering up access to the information for a fee ranging anywhere from $80 to $2,000. The practice is widespread in China due partly to the fact that the number of sellers in the country is growing.
In addition to selling internal sales metrics and reviewers’ email addresses, some employees allegedly sold a service to delete negative reviews and restore merchants that were banned.
“We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our Code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties,” said an Amazon spokeswoman at the time. She added that the company has zero tolerance for those that abuse the systems. “If we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them,” she said.
Nathan Jackson, a Frisco, Texas-based financial adviser, who received a letter last week from Amazon about this recent email breach, said he found the message alarming.
“What exactly is so valuable about my e-mail address? That’s concerning obviously,” he said. “And what kind of protocols does Amazon have in place to protect my data?”