Re­port: Ama­zon’s Ring videos from in­side cus­tomers’ homes viewed in cy­ber­crime hot­bed

Firm’s em­ploy­ees re­port­edly shared pri­vate record­ings

The Mercury News - - Business+technology - By Ethan Baron [email protected]­yare­anews­

Own­ers of Ama­zon’s Ring home-se­cu­rity sys­tems can see in­side and out­side their homes re­motely — but so can a bunch of tech work­ers in a lo­ca­tion that’s a hot­bed of cy­ber­crime, new re­ports sug­gest.

E-com­merce gi­ant Ama­zon bought Ring for $853 mil­lion last year, and the New York Times’ pop­u­lar Wire­cut­ter web­site soon deemed Ring’s video-equipped door­bell a wor­thy ad­di­tion to home se­cu­rity.

But in ad­di­tion to the door­bells, and a va­ri­ety of out­door cam­eras and sen­sors, Ring also sells in­door cam­eras that in­te­grate with its home­se­cu­rity sys­tem, and Wire­cut­ter has now added a warn­ing to its re­view: “A re­cent story in The In­ter­cept al­leges that Ring may have al­lowed its em­ploy­ees in­ap­pro­pri­ate and po­ten­tially un­re­stricted ac­cess to its cus­tomers’ video streams or record­ings.”

The In­ter­cept, a tech-fo­cused news site, re­ported that de­spite Ring’s mis­sion to keep homes and their oc­cu­pants se­cure, “the com­pany’s treat­ment of cus­tomer video feeds has been any­thing but.”

The com­pany gave its Ukraine-based R&D team “vir­tu­ally un­fet­tered ac­cess” to “ev­ery video cre­ated by ev­ery Ring cam­era around the world,” ac­cord­ing to The In­ter­cept.

“The Ukraine team was also pro­vided with a cor­re­spond­ing data­base that linked each spe­cific video file to cor­re­spond­ing spe­cific Em­ploy­ees at Ama­zon Ring ap­par­ently have been given un­re­stricted ac­cess of all record­ings by the de­vice.

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