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An Amazon fulfillment center prepares for Black Friday sales. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The names and email addresses of some Amazon customers were revealed due to a technical error, but the issue has since been fixed, the e-commerce giant said Wednesday.

The big picture: Passwords do not appear to have been disclosed. Amazon's notice to impacted consumers even says that there is "no need for you to change your password or take any other action." If a bad guy saw the emails and passwords while they were exposed — and we don't know any did — they do not immediately have access to the accounts.

Why it matters: The glitch occurred just days before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the busiest shopping days of the year. In theory, a bad guy who saw the names and email addresses could send scam emails pretending to be Amazon to users to try to steal log-in information, or could match email addresses with passwords from other sites' breaches to see if they work.

Quick take: Given the fact that millions of people around the world already have an account with Amazon, a bad guy could literally do this for Amazon accounts with any list of names and email addresses.

  • This isn't good by any stretch, and it may limit consumer confidence in the company. It's a bad look, especially given that Amazon fired an employee who shared customer data without permission.

What we know: Amazon says all affected users have been contacted and it fixed the issue.

What we don't know: How many users had data exposed, how long the data was exposed or how difficult the data would be to find.

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.