Ring reportedly gave employees access to customer video feeds

  • Ring reportedly gave employees access to customer video feeds

Ring reportedly gave employees access to customer video feeds

Consumer-level smart video doorbells and security cameras have become immensely popular, but some anxious that the video feeds could be hijacked by those with malicious intents. Meaning, the company has been so egregiously lax when it comes to security and privacy that even people outside the company could have potentially done this, using merely an email address to begin spying on customers, according to the report.

Of more concern is the Ring's alleged practice of giving its USA executives and engineers "highly privileged" access to the company's support system, allowing them to look up customers by email address and access all of their cameras.

The unencrypted videos were shared between employees on company servers and included footage from outside and, in some cases, inside users' homes. Low-level employees allegedly still had access to user information and videos as early as October 2018.

Another database linked every video file with the specific customer that it belonged to.

All a Ring employee had to do was know someone's email address to have a live feed from a person's cameras. The source went on to talk about engineers "teasing each other about who they brought home" after romantic dates. You wouldn't expect executive-level employees to have access to this data though, and the fact that the company's development team can link videos to customers seemingly without oversight is cause for concern. Ring reportedly still employs Ukrainian data operators to manually process video footage. Ring employees do not have access to livestreams from Ring products.

The home security startup sells doorbells that capture video and audio.

Ring promotes its gadgets as a way to catch package thieves, a nuisance that Amazon has been looking to remedy.

Key is created to provide a secure and trackable way for packages to be delivered inside homes when people aren't there.

As you might remember, Amazon bought Ring about a year ago for over $1 billion.

Ring said that the videos used to improve its service come from "publicly shared Ring videos from the Neighbors app", along with customers who have given explicit written consent for their use.

Privacy breaches and violations have become commonplace, and as home security systems become more affordable, more connected and more cloud-based, we need to pay attention to who might be able to access live camera feeds and recordings of our most personal and private spaces. In order to improve our service, we view and annotate certain Ring video recordings. Also worth noting: "Neither Ring's terms of service nor its privacy policy mention any manual video annotation being conducted by humans, nor does either document mention of the possibility that Ring staffers could access this video at all", the Intercept piece concludes.