You’ve probably seen the headlines – Ring doorbell employees fired for spying
The way the news has headlined this you’d think groups of employees from Amazon’s Ring Doorbell division were sitting around spying on your home all day. Don’t panic just yet. Amazon did fire four separate employees over the past for years for violating the privacy of customers. That’s certainly not good news but that doesn’t mean dozens of employees are not watching the live feed from your doorbell cam.
Ring Doorbells have ballooned in popularity. These motion-activated doorbells let you see who’s at your door and talk to them by checking an app on your phone. You can do this whether you’re home or in Timbuktu. You’ll also get a recording of what happens on the front porch that you can access later. All without having a wired security system. These recordings have been used to catch package thieves and other criminals. But, as with any video recording stored in the cloud, there’s the chance someone might look at your stuff.
Everyone who works at Ring doesn’t have access to your video feed. According to Amazon, employees are only allowed to access your stored videos if you give them permission and only for the purpose you’ve contacted them for. (Most likely some type of troubleshooting.) In the past four years, four employees who had been given permission by consumers to access their videos looked at more data than was necessary to the task at hand. All four employees were fired. Amazon says that it also monitors any authorized employee access to data and makes sure employees are looking at anything more than they need.
This admission from the company came in response to a letter from U.S. Senators looking for answers about privacy concerns. The letter was prompted by reports that Ring’s development team in Ukraine had unrestricted access to the stored data of all users. Amazon denied that claim, saying that no one has unrestricted access to customer data and video and that employees only have access to public videos of people who have chosen to share the videos with them.