Amazon’s Ring doorbell security subsidiary is under the microscope and having to pay out to the Federal Trade Commission this week after violating consumer privacy regulations. The FTC found that Ring had violated said regulations by giving employees uninhibited access to customer security accessories. After being taken to court over the matter, Ring will be forced to pay around $5.8 million USD to the FTC in a settlement.
The settlement between Amazon’s Ring and the FTC was announced this week, as reported by CNBC. The US trade regulator alleged that part of Ring’s violation of consumer privacy included compromising user information in giving third-party contractors access to customer videos and feeds. The FTC went on to add that it found Ring employees that worked for a Ukrainian third-party contractor had access to and could download customer videos with very little company restriction in place before July 2017.
Ring was acquired by Amazon in 2018 and has been making home security technology for the tech giant since. Ring specializes in devices that are meant to look after user’s homes and important belongings even when they are not around, such as the Alexa-enabled Astro robot. That said, Ring has also been under scrutiny before and after Amazon’s acquisition, having fired employees in 2020 for allegations of peeping into customer video feeds and invading privacy, as reported by The Information.
$5.8 million USD seems like a drop in the bucket for Amazon after Ring’s alleged invasion of consumer privacy, but hopefully the fine will push the company to mind its boundaries. Stay tuned as we continue to report on Amazon, Ring, and further updates as they drop.