If you own an Amazon Ring device or use Alexa, this information is crucial for you.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States has conducted an investigation that highlights the alarming security failures associated with Alexa and Amazon Ring. The FTC’s findings, available here, accuse Amazon of compromising customer privacy through various examples. As a security engineer, I find these examples shocking and inexcusable. Before considering having such a device in your home, consider the potential invasion of privacy and the risks involved.
Here are a few examples:
- Allowing unauthorized access to consumers’ private videos by employees or contractors.
- Failing to implement basic privacy and security measures.
- They pretty much enable hackers to control consumer accounts, cameras, and videos.
- Ring employees and third-party contractors in Ukraine have unrestricted access to customers’ unencrypted videos and can view, share, or disclose them at will.
- Customer service agents have access to videos belonging to thousands of customers who never sought customer service.
- Amazon employees have access to footage from inside customers’ bedrooms.
- An employee viewed thousands of video recordings belonging to 81 unique female users and conducted inappropriate searches on cameras surveilling intimate spaces.
- Hackers gain access to accounts and verbally harass customers through their Ring devices, including racist slurs directed at children.
- Instances where hackers claimed to have killed someone’s mother and directly threatened individuals through their cameras.
- Amazon retains children’s recordings indefinitely, even when parents request their deletion.
The list of complaints goes on and can be read here. Despite a thorough investigation resulting in numerous privacy breaches being uncovered, Amazon was only fined a few million dollars by the FTC. However, this amount is insignificant given Amazon’s massive revenue and failure to hold them accountable.
We need to recognize that these devices seriously threaten our privacy, well-being, and even our lives. When hackers can manipulate our children and invade our most intimate spaces, it’s time to reconsider using such devices.
We should consider collective action to discard Amazon devices and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices that compromise our privacy. Let’s prioritize our security and remove these devices from our homes.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments or need assistance. We are here to help.
Incognito Privacy Care Team