Amazon engineer calls for Ring to be shut down permanently

midian182

Posts: 6,187   +51
Staff member
A hot potato: It appears that even Amazon workers think Ring is a privacy threat. One of the tech giant’s engineers has blasted the home-security camera firm, which Amazon acquired for $2 billion in 2018, calling for it to be shut down immediately.

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice recently published a Medium post in which 363 workers gave their views on the company’s business. The group organized the September strike that saw more than 900 employees protest the retailer’s failure to take action against climate change, but not every quote in the post was related to environmental issues.

Software engineer Max Eliaser was vocal about Ring and its privacy issues. "The deployment of connected home security cameras that allow footage to be queried centrally are simply not compatible with a free society," they wrote. "The privacy issues are not fixable with regulation and there is no balance that can be struck. Ring should be shut down immediately and not brought back."

Ring has suffered a slew of negative publicity over the last 12 months. Back in January 2019, reports claimed its employees had access to customers’ recorded videos and live feeds—something that led to the firing of four workers.

It was also revealed that Ring has partnerships with hundreds of US police forces, allowing them access to Ring doorbell and motion camera footage for use in investigations. Amazon stressed that it only shared the clips after a valid and binding legal demand from authorities and that owners can decline the requests, but that hasn’t placated privacy advocates, especially as non-owners caught on camera can’t opt-out.

The reports of Ring products being hacked haven’t helped the company’s reputation, either. And the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) yesterday announced that it had identified several embedded third-party trackers in the Ring Android app that were grabbing “a plethora” of personal information and sharing it with firms that include Facebook.

Despite the controversies, almost 400,000 Ring devices were sold in December, making it the company's best month to date. The firm said it has "millions" of customers worldwide.

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Unusual Kmc

Posts: 85   +104
I don't see how rings failures affect the majority of its user base. Of course, I wouldn't want someone looking at my cameras, but what are they going to see? My front lawn? Of course, people use them to watch over their babies and so on, but again - you see a kid. Big deal.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,606   +6,117
And the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) yesterday announced that it had identified several embedded third-party trackers in the Ring Android app that were grabbing “a plethora” of personal information and sharing it with firms that include Facebook.

The effect is pure and simple ..... it violates the individuals privacy not by what it does but by the fact there was no previous disclosure of these facts prior to sale.
 
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poohbear

Posts: 521   +410
Or maybe just keep them for the front door and back yard. I mean, are people really installing these cameras in their bedrooms or living rooms???
 
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It should default to a "just me" mode that keeps everything between the user and the cloud storage with no Facebook or other pinging.
I won't buy a Ring but I do have a part-time (vacay house) Blink which is off most of the time and simply looks at the driveway and when a package is dropped.


 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,081
All of these people "I have nothing to look at"... lol /facepalm.

These companies are preying on this ignorance. If police can take whatever they want and also locate where and which house it came from, employees and hackers can as well. They can see what you have in your house, when you are there or not, what you bring in your house, whether you have pets they need to be concerned about (I.e. need a gun to shoot them) when breaking in. It would also be easy to frame you for a crime. It is really surprising people are actually even *paying* for this privacy invasion. A fool and their money are easily parted. Now it's also a fool and their privacy are easily parted.
 

TheBigT42

Posts: 477   +379
All of these people "I have nothing to look at"... lol /facepalm.

These companies are preying on this ignorance. If police can take whatever they want and also locate where and which house it came from, employees and hackers can as well. They can see what you have in your house, when you are there or not, what you bring in your house, whether you have pets they need to be concerned about (I.e. need a gun to shoot them) when breaking in. It would also be easy to frame you for a crime. It is really surprising people are actually even *paying* for this privacy invasion. A fool and their money are easily parted. Now it's also a fool and their privacy are easily parted.
Ditto!
 
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brucek

Posts: 578   +701
TechSpot Elite
Yeah I think it comes down to the principal. *Why* would you even want the ability for government to be able to watch you anytime? Sure, you got nothing to watch, but why??
I worry about NSA mass-interception of content because it could be used to blackmail politicians, judges, editors, CEOs, and anyone else of influence. Historically this has been an effective route to getting and keeping power (see: Hoover among others.)

I worry about NSA mass-interception of content because bugs in storage or analysis, or changes in societal trends and power structures, could cause me or others to become targets for punitive or restrictive actions that aren't justified. John Smith once dialed a wrong number that was two degrees of separation away from a terrorist? He could be on a secret list that will keep him from ever getting a government job, and never even know about it.

However I am less worried about video of my front lawn. It isn't a likely source for problems like the above, but could help police put thieves in jail. Over time it may stop some people from ever choosing that line of "work" in the first place because they know they are much more likely to be caught than ever before.
 

NightAngel79

Posts: 224   +71
TechSpot Elite
It's a bit concerning you also watch your cats poop.
One of our cats almost died 3 months ago. He stopped going to the bathroom completely. Dehydrated and constipated they had to do surgery. His potassium levels were high enough to kill a human and for 2 days we weren't sure if he would make it. Now we have to monitor his bathroom usage and make sure he is peeing large quantities, because not being able to pee a lot is the first sign when it happens again. And once this happens, it becomes a common problem. Called Cystitis
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 16,212   +4,972
Maybe it is a lure for some agency that wants to get the poop on something or someone. :laughing:
Teenaged boys should take heed. When that Ring goes up on the inside of the bathroom door, you know your parents are trying to find out how often you are exploring your, "grasp on your expanding sexuality".
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 16,212   +4,972
It's a bit concerning you also watch your cats poop....[ ]...
True enough. However, the camera filters out the smell, which is the most disturbing part of any cat's defecation process.

I often experience this at point blank range, when eating my "crappy" TV dinner. (pun intended). Since my internet box is situated directly in front of the main litter box, and my 25 pound Maine coon, always feels "moved" to take a dump, as soon as I pull the cellophane off the "Maine" meal of the day..
 
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PEnnn

Posts: 482   +422
I don't see how rings failures affect the majority of its user base. Of course, I wouldn't want someone looking at my cameras, but what are they going to see? My front lawn? Of course, people use them to watch over their babies and so on, but again - you see a kid. Big deal.
So, you don't think some sleazy pedophile hacker watching your kids is a bad thing???