Amazon says customer information was exposed in data breach

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That includes Amazon's home state of Washington, where companies must inform residents of data breaches if the breach includes the unauthorized disclosure of names along with information like Social Security numbers.

The company's United Kingdom press office has confirmed that the email was genuine, saying in a comment sent to media that, "We have fixed the issue and informed customers who may have been impacted".

The company did not explain how or where the information became visible, but said that it was not a breach of Amazon's website or systems.

Inc. said it mistakenly shared customer data with undisclosed parties, a privacy misstep by the world's biggest online retailer heading into its busiest time of year. Many reports suggested this was a hack of Amazon's customer data, but a technical error is far from an intentional "data breach", which would insinuate Amazon fell victim to hacking.

The company has been even less forthcoming to affected customers.

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"We're contacting you to let you know that our website inadvertently disclosed your name and email address due to a technical error", read one e-mail to a customer.

The e-commerce giant confirmed it sent the messages, adding in a subsequent statement it had "fixed the issue".

Amazon told some customers on Wednesday that their email address and name had been exposed.

Why Amazon felt the need to send the brief email to customers right before the big Black Friday sale remains unknown. However, it's a good idea to set up two-factor authentication on your Amazon account.

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