Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
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Amazon’s Ring Security Cameras Could Be Invading Privacy, Employees Watch Private Footages

Amazon’s Ring Security Cameras Could Be Invading Privacy, Employees Watch Private Footages

The Ukraine team was also provided with a corresponding database that linked each specific video file to corresponding specific Ring customers. Setting up an at-home panopticon might feel more secure, but know you might not be the only one keeping a watchful eye on your home.

A source familiar with the troubling practice told The Intercept that Ring also provided senior executives and engineers in the USA with access to unfiltered live feeds from customer cameras - even though having access to such sensitive data was not necessarily required to carry out their jobs. Thanks to a report from The Intercept, Ring customers should be more anxious about the company's employees watching them than anyone else. "We implement systems to restrict and audit access to information", the statement read.

Amazon-owned Ring has found itself under fire today for its internal handling of users' video streams and recordings generated by its smart home products, according to a report published today at The Intercept.

The Intercept's sources said that the engineers spy on their colleagues' feeds and tease one another about the dates they would bring home.

There, employees had access to a folder on Amazon's S3 cloud storage service, which included a list of 'every video created by every Ring camera around the world'.

If [someone] knew a reporter or competitor's email address, [they] could view all their cameras.


Amazon late past year unveiled its own smart lock and camera combination called Amazon Key in a move into home security.

Ring, the Amazon subdivision that makes smart cameras and doorbells, may have given employees unrestricted access to unencrypted customer video footage.

Ring's doorbell could work well with Amazon Key, which lets delivery personnel put packages inside a home to avoid theft or, in the case of fresh food, spoiling. Having previously reported on such alleged employee access in December, the Information said in its own report that users early on frequently complained of triggered alerts for such innocuous activity as a passing vehicle. Somewhere in that process, Ring gave teams in the company unfettered access to customer video files, including live feeds and videos stored on company servers.

We take the privacy and security of our customers' personal information extremely seriously. In order to improve our service, we view and annotate certain Ring video recordings. The Intercept writes that neither Ring's ToS or privacy policy mentions that its staff could access users' videos. We hold our team members to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our policies faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties.

The company objected to The Intercept's characterization of the situation, claiming that the training material was culled from public videos via a Ring app called Neighbors, a neighborhood watch app.

This is obviously a huge invasion of privacy, but it's likely something you agreed to when you purchased a Ring camera and agreed to the company's terms of service and privacy policy. "In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behaviour, we will take swift action against them".

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