Skip to main content

Ring admits employees have improperly accessed customers’ doorbell videos

Ring has admitted that a number of its employees tried to improperly access Ring Doorbell videos and detailed the incidents in a letter to five U.S. senators.

Motherboard reports that on Monday, January 6, Amazon-owned Ring responded to a November 19 letter written by senators concerned about Ring’s security. In Monday’s letter, Ring said that there were four separate instances where former Ring employees improperly accessed data. 

“Over the last four years, Ring has received four complaints or inquiries regarding a team member’s access to Ring video data. Although each of the individuals involved in these incidents was authorized to view video data, the attempted access to that data exceeded what was necessary for their job functions,” Motherboard reports the letter reads. 

Ring said in the letter that all of the employees in question are no longer with the company. 

Image used with permission by copyright holder

“In addition to taking swift action to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary action in each of these cases, Ring has taken multiple actions to limit such data access to a smaller number of team members,” the letter adds. 

Digital Trends reached out to Ring to find out more about what the employees were able to access in these instances. We’ll update the story once we hear back. 

Monday’s letter was a response to a letter written by Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden, Edward Markey, Chris Van Hollen, Chris Coons, and Gary Peters. The senators wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about their concerns over Ring doorbell products and how secure customers’ data really is. 

“Americans who make the choice to install Ring products in and outside their homes do so under the assumption that they are — as your website proclaims — ‘making the neighborhood safer.’ As such, the American people have a right to know who else is looking at the data they provide to Ring, and if that data is secure from hackers,” the November 19 letter reads. 

The letter was written and sent to the company prior to a string of Ring hacks that caused many customers to question the security of their Ring doorbells. 

Last month, a man was able to hack a Ring camera located in a little girl’s bedroom and talk to her through the device’s speaker. In another instance last month, a California woman said her in-home Amazon Ring camera was hacked and inappropriate comments were made toward her. 

Also last month, Buzzfeed reported that more than 3,000 Ring cameras had been compromised, potentially exposing the login credentials of users and possibly enabling hackers easy access to all kinds of information. 

Ring announced updates to its security at CES on Monday, including a new Control Center that enables Ring users to opt out of receiving video requests from local police, as well as easier access and control over privacy and security settings within the Ring app. 

Editors' Recommendations

Allison Matyus
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Allison Matyus is a general news reporter at Digital Trends. She covers any and all tech news, including issues around social…
Should you buy a wired or wireless video doorbell?
A Eufy video doorbell installed near a door.

Video doorbells come in a variety of styles, but they typically fall into one of two categories -- wired or wireless. You'll find both categories available from big names like Ring, Arlo, and Google, making it easy to snag a great product regardless of which style you prefer.

But should you buy a wired or wireless video doorbell? It's not easy making that decision, as both installation types come with various advantages and disadvantages. Here's a comprehensive look at both types of video doorbells to help you decide.
How does a wired video doorbell work?

Read more
Check out these Ring video doorbell alternatives that don’t require a subscription
A Eufy video doorbell installed near a door.

Ring is one of many companies that lock video doorbell features behind a monthly paywall. Unless you're forking out cash every month, you won't have full access to everything your device can offer. The brand also recently instituted a price hike -- and some shoppers are so frustrated that they've started looking elsewhere for their security needs.

If that's you, or if you'd like to find an easy way to cut down your spending this year, here's a look at four Ring alternatives that don't require a subscription. Some of these may offer optional subscriptions, but even if you don't pay, you'll have access to a wide range of features that aren't free on Ring.
Eufy

Read more
How to prevent your Ring smart camera from being hacked
Ring Indoor Cam on a table.

Ring smart cameras are remarkably popular. The lineup includes a variety of indoor and outdoor cameras as well as an industry-leading catalog of video doorbells. However, the cameras aren't without their faults. A few years ago, a class action lawsuit was filed claiming that Ring hadn't done enough to protect users from hackers -- allowing them to gain unpermitted access to video feeds.

Digital Trends reached out to Ring about these old hacking incidents. Here's what they had to say.

Read more