Amazon to Pay $5.8 Million for Spying on Customers Through Their Ring Cameras

  • June 2, 2023

Employees, contractors, and hackers all illegally watched videos of Ring customers.

by Matthew Humphries
PCMag.com

Excerpts:

Amazon agreed to pay a $5.8 million settlement after the Federal Trade Commission found it was illegally spying on customers and failed to stop hackers from taking control of users’ Ring cameras.

An FTC investigation(Opens in a new window) concluded that Ring, which Amazon acquired in 2018, had compromised the privacy of its customers “by allowing any employee or contractor to access consumers’ private videos and by failing to implement basic privacy and security protections.”

Ring’s violation of user privacy occurred on multiple fronts. Ring users were likely unaware that the company had been using their videos for “product improvement and development” because Ring buried that information in the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. It meant customer videos were used to train algorithms, but were also being viewed by Ring employees and contractors.

The FTC found that one Ring employee had viewed thousands of videos of female customers in their bedrooms and bathrooms over several months. The employee in question was only stopped when another employee discovered what they had been doing.

Ring was unable to determine if any other employees had been violating the privacy of users in the same way because the company did not monitor employee access to videos.

Read the full article at PCMag.com.

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