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article imageAmazon investigating claims of employees leaking data for bribes

By Karen Graham     Sep 17, 2018 in Internet
Amazon.com said on Monday it was investigating suspected internal leaks of confidential information by its employees for bribes to give sellers a leg up in the $1 trillion dollar company's marketplace.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Amazon employees are offering internal data and other classified information through middlemen, to independent merchants selling their products on the site to help them boost sales in return for bribes.
Citing sources, the WSJ said while the practice is a violation of the company's policy, the practice is particularly strong in China as the number of sellers is soaring.
Employees have allegedly been handing over confidential information like search optimization data that lists the top keywords used and info on consumer buying habits.
Employees are allegedly offering reviewers' email addresses and a service that scrubs negative reviews and restores banned Amazon accounts in exchange for payments ranging from about $80 to more than $2,000.
“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,” a company spokesperson told Reuters, according to CNBC.
Amazon apparently began investigating the claims back in May this year, according to Mashable, including a number of cases involving employees in the U.S.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed its investigation in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "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," the statement reads.
"We have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action."
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