Is Ring Spying On You?
First reported by Theverge.com
- According to reports, Ring allowed employees to view unencrypted customer videos.
- Some of the viewings included videos on file and live streams from the doorbell security system.
- The activity allegedly began in 2016 when the company moved from San Francisco to Ukraine to save money. Amazon purchased the company last year. Since then, more security measures have been put in to place to protect customer information.
- A Ring representative said the only videos that employees can view are those made public by Ring’s community app called Neighbors.
- Do you have Ring?
- Does this news concern you?
Smart doorbell company Ring allowed employees to share unencrypted customer videos with each other, according to reports by both The Intercept and The Information. The reports say that Ring, which was purchased by Amazon last year, gave various teams access to unencrypted customer video files on company servers and live feeds from some customer cameras, regardless of whether that access was necessary.
The reports say that this behavior began in 2016, when Ring founder Jamie Siminoff moved the company’s efforts from San Francisco to Ukraine to save money. Sources tell The Information that for months after the Ukraine office was opened, videos were frequently transmitted without encryption. In addition, the company provided its R&D team in Ukraine with virtually unrestricted access to a folder on the company’s Amazon’s S3 cloud storage instance containing every Ring customer video. These videos were unencrypted, and could be easily downloaded and shared. The team was also given a database that linked each video to the Ring customer it belonged to.
At the same time, US-based Ring executives and engineers were granted overreaching access to “unfiltered, round-the-clock live feeds from some customer cameras.” There aren’t any documented instances of this access being abused, but a source told The Intercept:
— The Verge (@verge) January 10, 2019
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) January 11, 2019
OmG — Ring let employees watch customer videos, claim reports regardless of whether that access was necessary.https://t.co/Dp9irtYwgb
— Booh – Stomping Winter Out with Red Booties & Hat (@mikes_booh) January 11, 2019
— Bill McCabe/ IOT Recruiter (@IOT_Recruiting) January 11, 2019