Ring, the Amazon-owned home-security device company, has admitted to firing four employees in the last four years for accessing user’s video data beyond what was required for their roles. The four employees were all authorized to view user video data in a limited capacity as part of their job roles at Ring, but they were found to have “"exceeded what was necessary for their job functions."
This information has come to light after Amazon responded to a letter from several US Democratic party senators which raised a series of safety and security questions surrounding the company’s use of user data. In particular, the US senators wanted to know why employees in Ring’s Ukrainian office has access to American customer’s user data.
Amazon’s response letter, which was signed off by Vice President for Public Policy Brian Huseman, explains that Ring employees have limited access to publicly available videos as well as those taken from employees, contractors and any friends who had consented to take part in the research program.
Amazon added that three employees had even greater access than this, stating that these three have "the ability to access stored customer videos for the purpose of maintaining Ring's AWS [Amazon web services] infrastructure".
Amazon Ring produces several home-security products including their latest iteration, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, along with older models like the Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell 2. These devices allow you to view whoever is at your door via a video feed directly to your smartphone or other devices, meaning you can speak directly to a delivery driver or guest if you’re out when they arrive. They also function as security devices, alerting you via motion sensors if someone is approaching your door.
Ring have been showing off their latest lineup of products at this year's CES in Las Vegas including smart light bulbs which can be remotely turned on, off, or dimmed.