Smart doorbell gave access to research company
Just about a year ago, Amazon announced the acquisition of Ring. The announcement came along with the story of how Ring founder, Jamie Siminoff, had been rejected from the ABC show ‘Shark Tank’.
Shark Tank is a reality-ish television program where inventors and founders pitch their ideas to a panel of millionaire investors. Each potential investor interviews the founders, offers advice, and ultimately decides to invest, or not, in the product or service.
The Ring promises the ability to see who is at the front door from your mobile device. In an era when the public at large is increasingly concerned about privacy, Ring was one of the companies ensuring the safety of the content they stored. That is until this week.
The Information reported on Ring’s research and development practices that included providing access to all Ring videos to a research firm in Ukraine. According to The Information, the Kiev company had unrestricted access to the Amazon S3 folder that contained every video a Ring customer had saved.
The firm was using the video for data analytics such as facial recognition and identifying delivery vehicles in the video.
With the Ring doorbell, you are able to record interactions. Customers also have the ability to record anytime someone comes to the door even if there is no interaction.
Ring contacted The Intercept with this response, “Ring employees never have and never did provide employees with access to livestreams of their Ring devices.” However, both The Intercept and The Information have sources that are contradicting Ring’s official line.