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Some Ring employees had unfettered access to customers' videos

By Kenny Yeo - on 11 Jan 2019, 10:38am

Some Ring employees had unfettered access to customers' videos

Ring is an Amazon-owned company that specializes in security cameras. Their wide range of solutions includes doorbell cameras, floodlight cameras, and stick up cameras that you can place anywhere at home.

Now, according to reports by The Intercept and The Information, some employees at Ring at unfettered access to customers' videos.

The reports say that this began in 2016 when Ring founder Jamie Siminoff moved some of the company's operations from San Francisco to Ukraine.

It was then that Ring started providing unrestricted access to its R&D team which was based in Ukraine.

The videos are said to be unencrypted and could be easily downloaded and share. The team was also handed a database that allowed employees to link videos to the Ring customer it belonged to.

Worse, this access was also granted to US-based Ring executives who had “unfiltered, round-the-clock live feeds from some customer cameras.”

Sources said that Ring employees would show each other things they had seen and that included people kissing, firing guns, and stealing.

In response, Ring spokesperson Yassi Shahmiri had this to say:

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 videos. These videos are sourced exclusively from publicly shared Ring videos from the Neighbors app (in accordance with our terms of service), and from a small fraction of Ring users who have provided their explicit written consent to allow us to access and utilize their videos for such purposes.

We have strict policies in place for all our team members. We implement systems to restrict and audit access to information. 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. In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them.

Full details in the links below. But more importantly, this makes you think twice about getting security cameras, or at least about where you should place them.

Source: The Intercept, The Information


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