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Alleged Leak Of Internal Info By Employees Being Investigated By Amazon


09/18/2018


Alleged Leak Of Internal Info By Employees Being Investigated By Amazon
An investigation on its employees who are suspected to cause internal leaks of confidential information against bribes for the removal of fake product reviews and some other seller scams has been initiated by the US based largest online e-retailer of the world Amazon.com Inc, said the company in a communiqué . 
 
According to the allegations that are being investigated by the company, internal data and other classified information have allegedly been supplied by some employees through intermediaries to sellers and independent merchants who are listed on the e-commerce website and sell their products through the site. It has been alleged that such data is used by the sellers to boost their product rankings and the Amazon employee rake money against providing such information, according to a report published in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday citing sources.
 
According to the report, sellers make use of third parties to boost their ranking of on the site by falsely boosting up demand for their products. The report states that small firms – often placed in countries such as Bangladesh, open up Amazon.com site and repeatedly type in search terms. Every time that is done, the scammers click on the links of products that they have been instructed to so that it appears that more people are looking out for the product. All this done against money paid to the scammers by sellers. When such repeated hits are made on certain products, the algorithm of Amazon automatically recognises the hits as demand from customers and thereby lists the products higher up in the search results. The higher such products are ranked in the search the more chance of them getting sold and hence this tactic.
 
While the tactics are not impacting the growth of Amazon, it certainly is undermining and threatens the integrity of one of the world’s largest web marketplaces.
 
The report also quoted an Amazon.com spokesperson saying that the company makes use of sophisticated tools that includes machine learning,  to fight the tactic and it is apparently harder for sellers to get away with such tactics.
 
However on Monday, announcing the investigations, the company said that the actions by some of the employees is in violation of the company’s policy.
 
“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 the media.
 
According to the WSJ reports, this trend is widespread among seller sin China where the number of sellers on the e-portal has increased significantly in recent times.
 
Internal sales metrics and reviewers’ email addresses are being offered by brokers for Amazon employees in Shenzhen, China, the WSJ report said, in addition to the e-mail addresses of reviewers and the way to delete negative reviews. The bribes paid for such internal information ranges from about $80 to more than $2,000, according to the WSJ report.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com & www.wsj.com)


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