Amazon gets slap on the wrist over privacy violations with Ring cameras

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2023
Amazon has negotiated a financially inconsequential settlement with the United States Federal Trade Commission over the company's behavior with Ring doorbell camera data.

Ring video doorbell
Ring video doorbell

Ring has successfully reached a settlement with the FTC that will see the unit paying a paltry $5.8 million over privacy concerns. The filing reveals the FTC discovered Ring gave employees "unrestricted access" to sensitive customer video data, and "as a result of this dangerously overbroad access and lax attitude toward privacy and security, employees and third-party contractors were able to view, download, and transfer customers' sensitive video data for their own purposes."

The filing alleges Ring, along with its third-party contractors, could download and otherwise access all of its customers' videos, with no hurdles at any point, up until July 2017.

In addition to the settlement, which is said to be good for 20 years, Ring must also take action regarding privacy transparency. Moving forward, Ring must divulge to its customers just how much of their data is available to Ring itself, as well as its contractors.

In 2019, Amazon's camera doorbell unit changed its access policies for its employees and contractors, making it so they could only access private customer data with the customer's consent.

Ring was acquired by Amazon for $1 billion in 2018, and was meant to be a big push for Amazon in the smart home market. In 2020, the company paused data sharing in an effort to rework its privacy controls.

The filing was made in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    TuPapiTuPapi Posts: 1member
    Class action law suit coming?
    ronnchasmmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Fines this small are ridiculously ineffective. I wonder how amounts like this are determined and why the FTC thinks it was reasonable. 
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,316member
    Actually, between the Ring doorbell and Alexa cases that were settled, the total fines are $30.8MM. A little less paltry.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,311member
    I wouldn't buy any RING product.  They are police spying devices!!!!  Since Amazon owns RING, is Amazon any better with its other products?  That is up to you to decide.  I don't use Android phones since that is Google's spying device.  All the better to target ads to you and who knows what else.

    Alex1Nronnchasmmagman1979watto_cobraappleinsideruser
  • Reply 5 of 11
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,279member
    Fines this small are ridiculously ineffective. I wonder how amounts like this are determined and why the FTC thinks it was reasonable. 

    But they do have the side-effect of raising consumer awareness and altering purchasing decision. This just reinforces my personal decision to avoid Ring products.
    edited May 2023 williamlondonchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,316member
    I’ll stick with my Logitech doorbell camera thank you.
    williamlondonAlex1Nchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,074member
    Fines this small are ridiculously ineffective. I wonder how amounts like this are determined and why the FTC thinks it was reasonable. 
    Because the fine was for practices that Ring was doing with their customers data, before Amazon bought them out. Amazon has since changed those policies after they bought Ring. The fine was not for anything Amazon was doing but Amazon still have to pay the fine since they now own Ring.  That's not to say that Amazon is not some how using their Ring customer data like Ring was doing, just that they now more transparent about it and doing it with the customer consent. Even if maybe  Ring customers don't fully realize what they are consenting to.  

    From the article ......

    >The filing alleges Ring, along with its third-party contractors, could download and otherwise access all of its customers' videos, with no hurdles at any point, up until July 2017.  

    ............

    In 2019, Amazon's camera doorbell unit changed its access policies for its employees and contractors, making it so they could only access private customer data with the customer's consent.

    Ring was acquired by Amazon for $1 billion in 2018, and was meant to be a big push for Amazon in the smart home market. In 2020, the company paused data sharing in an effort to rework its privacy controls.<

    Once again AI headline is some what misleading.
    edited May 2023 Alex1Ndewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,380member
    mike1 said:
    Actually, between the Ring doorbell and Alexa cases that were settled, the total fines are $30.8MM. A little less paltry.
    Yes, that’s nearly an HOUR’S WORTH of Amazon profits! That’ll learn ‘em!
    BiCmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,616member
    BiC said:
    Do you really need a camera - everywhere - isn't there one in your pocket. ...
    I know someone who uses a camera to tell him (via an iPhone notification vibration) when his Alzheimer-impacted father gets out of bed. It works well. I set it up for him. A HomeKit camera makes their lives much easier.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,074member
    chasm said:
    mike1 said:
    Actually, between the Ring doorbell and Alexa cases that were settled, the total fines are $30.8MM. A little less paltry.
    Yes, that’s nearly an HOUR’S WORTH of Amazon profits! That’ll learn ‘em!
    It you're going to use all caps for ..... "HOUR"S WORTH"......, then you should do more to make sure the numbers you're stating is accurate.

    $30M per hour X 24 hours per day X 365 days per year ...... comes to a WHOPPING ....... $263B a year in profit. 

    Apple annual profit per year is about $100B. No way is Amazon making more than 2.5X  profit per year, than the biggest tech company in the World. 

    The $263B number you are using is closer to Amazon GROSS PROFIT. Having a gross profit does not guarantee having any net profit.

    https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/AMZN/amazon/gross-profit

    If you want to be accurate and use Amazon actual annual net profit, then it looks more like this. 

    https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/AMZN/amazon/net-income

    In 2021, the latest full year Amazon made a profit, and a record year for that matter.

    $33.5B in annual profit ... divided by ..... 365 days in a year .... divide by..... 24 hours in a day .... comes to $3.8M a hour.  So it would take Amazon about 8 hours of profit to pay for a $31M fine. And that was using the profit they made in 2021. In 2022, Amazon didn't make a profit, but still had over $200B in gross profit. 





     
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
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