Videos from Ring security cameras possibly accessible
Recorded surveillance videos from Ring cameras stored in the cloud appear to be viewable by company employees.
According to a report on The Intercept, a company expert reports that employees of a development center in Ukraine have free access to personal videos. These videos are unencrypted in the computer center and are regularly accessed to train the image recognition software.
Ring apparently uses the private surveillance videos recorded by users to mark objects and faces in these of their own employees in order to improve image recognition, which of course inevitably leads to an invasion of privacy. It should also be possible to simply switch on the livestreams if a user’s e-mail address is known.
Surveillance vs Privacy
Amazon took over the company at the beginning of 2018 and is probably aware of the problems. Nevertheless, image recognition must of course continue to be trained. This is also how the statement in the company’s statement about the circumstances should be understood: Privacy is respected and only videos of users who have agreed to it are used for further development. This probably always happened in the small print when the users used the “Neighbours” function, where the neighbours can also take a look through the owner’s camera.
As usual, we just want to point out the circumstances that occur when using technology. It’s clear that Ring needs to develop the software further and it’s also clear that employees have extensive access to customer data, which is no different with traditional companies. However, with video and audio recordings that end up in the cloud, you should always be aware that someone can see them. Especially if they are not stored encrypted. It’s not only the employees who are the problem, but other potential security gaps. So the crucial question for you is: are you willing to give up your privacy for the surveillance of your home?