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Amazon was hit by a major data breach that led to customers names and email addresses becoming visible on its site days before its Black Friday sale.
It is unclear how many accounts were impacted by the breach, with the online retailer not willing to provide any breakdown as to the how widespread the issue was.
The company claims that the leak was not the result of a hack of its website or IT systems, but rather a mishap that unintentionally led to customers personal information being visible on its site.
‘We have fixed the issue and informed customers who may have been impacted,’ Amazon said in a short statement.
Amazon notifies customers of breach
Following the incident, Amazon sent an email to those impacted by the data breach, explaining that the issue has since been rectified.
‘Our website inadvertently disclosed your email address or name and email address due to a technical error,’ the email read. ‘The issue has been fixed. This is not a result of anything you have done, and there is no need for you to change your password or take any other action. The impacted customers have been contacted.’
‘Amazon takes all security-related matters very seriously and your account security is our top priority. We have policies and security measures in place to ensure that your personal information remains secure,’ it added.
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which upholds information rights and regulates companies like Amazon, announced that it is looking into the issue.
Black Friday sale
In the US, Black Friday has been around for some time and refers the day after Thanksgiving sales that sees retailers offer massive discounts in the run up to Christmas.
In recent years, Black Friday has made its way to the UK and other parts of the world, with retailers using it to gives sales figures a boost.
Companies including Argos, Currys PC World and even British Airways all have announced Black Friday sales in a bid to entice consumers of their hard-earned cash.
In October, the Office of National Statistics announced that sales volumes in the UK had declined by 0.8%, far worse than the 0.4% that many analysts had expected.
The news is cause for concern for investors in the retail market, as it signals that the UK economy is beginning to show signs of slowing.