Amazon to Pay $25 Million to Settle FTC Lawsuit Over Ring Privacy Concerns
Amazon has agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle a privacy lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning its subsidiary company, Ring. The lawsuit alleged that Ring had granted employees and third-party contractors unrestricted access to customer video content, leading to violations of privacy and security breaches.
According to the federal complaint, certain individuals misused their access privileges to exploit Ring’s video content, resulting in cases of sexual harassment, stalking, racial slurs directed at children, and other privacy violations. The FTC’s investigation revealed that these security issues persisted even after Amazon’s acquisition of Ring in 2018, spanning from 2016 to 2020.
Amazon has acknowledged previous instances of employee misconduct concerning customer data and claimed to have taken action against those responsible. In 2020, the company disclosed to US Senators that it had terminated at least four employees for unauthorized access or attempted access to customer data beyond their job requirements.
This recent lawsuit is not the first time Ring Doorbells have faced privacy concerns. In 2020, Ring received criticism for sharing user footage with law enforcement agencies without explicit user consent. Additionally, hackers gained unauthorized access to Ring cameras, using them for livestream swatting incidents.
The settlement reached between Amazon and the FTC highlights the importance of protecting customer privacy and ensuring the responsible handling of sensitive data. As part of the settlement, Amazon will pay $5.8 million and is expected to take steps to strengthen its security practices and address the issues raised by the FTC.
The resolution of this lawsuit serves as a reminder for companies operating in the technology and security sectors to prioritize user privacy and implement robust safeguards against unauthorized access. As consumers increasingly rely on connected devices, maintaining trust in the security and privacy of these products is crucial for the industry as a whole.