Amazon Ring agrees to pay for spying on its customers

Mathilde Rochefort

June 02, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.


Ring Camera © © Amazon

© Amazon

Amazon agrees to pay 5.8 million dollars (5.4 million euros) to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the American agency responsible for consumer protection, for spying on certain customers holding surveillance cameras Ring.

Amazon acquired Ring in 2018, allowing it to increase its presence in the connected objects and home security market.

Ring employees had a blast…

She is now paying a high price. According to the FTC, Ring has not implemented effective safeguards to prevent its employees and third-party contractors from accessing video from its customers’ surveillance cameras. In one case, an employee of the firm viewed ” thousands of video recordings from users who watched the intimate spaces of their homes like their bedrooms and bathrooms.

If the majority of the offenses took place before the takeover by Amazon, the agency accuses the e-commerce giant of not having ” implemented basic measures to monitor and detect inappropriate access by February 2019 “. As a result, ” it has no idea how many instances of inappropriate access to its customers’ sensitive video data have actually occurred “. Since then, the company has taken steps to prevent this from happening again. In 2020, it announced the dismissal of four people for having ” watched customer videos over the allowed limit “.

In addition to agreeing to pay $5.8 million to settle the case, Amazon is also being forced to delete all data and algorithms from illegally viewed videos. It must also create a security and privacy program prohibiting its employees from viewing its customers’ videos, except in specific law enforcement circumstances.

Ring Alarm © Ring

© Amazon

Another dispute with Alexa

Amazon will also pay $25 million to settle another privacy lawsuit, this time involving Alexa. The firm is accused of violating the US Children’s Privacy Act by illegally storing thousands of information about minors through their profiles with the voice assistant.

It would have kept voice and geolocation information associated with these young users for years, while preventing parents from exercising their right to delete them.

While we disagree with the FTC’s allegations and deny violating the law, this settlement resolves the matter so we can focus on innovating on behalf of our customers. “Comments an Amazon spokesperson.

Sources: The Verge, CNBC

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