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Amazon’s Ring smart doorbells hit with lawsuit over camera privacy

Ring security cameras continue to be hacked, leaving its victims, including children, terrified. Now, the company and its parent, Amazon, are facing a lawsuit in federal court.

The two companies are being sued for negligence, invasion of privacy, breach of implied contract, breach of implied warranty and unjust enrichment. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the companies have known about the lack of inherent consumer privacy protection of their products for some time now.

According to the lawsuit, Ring does not fulfill its core promise of providing privacy and security for its customers. Hackers routinely terrorize occupants, invade their privacy and undermine their sense of safety and security.

For example, John Baker Orange, the plaintiff who filed the lawsuit, claimed his camera was hacked while his children were playing basketball. The hacker even commented on his kids’ game and even asked the children to move closer to the camera. The lawsuit includes many other claims, including a hacker who communicated with an 8-year-old girl in her bedroom, claiming he was Santa Claus.

The lawsuit states that Amazon and Ring are blaming owners of their cameras for not creating strong passwords. However, Ring has neglected to add basic security measures such as two-factor authentication which is all but expected in this modern Internet age.

The Takeaway

With all of these IoT (internet of things) manufacturers pushing their products out the door as fast as possible, security has unfortunately been something of an afterthought. So, it’s up to you to make sure that the IoT devices you buy are safe. Here’s how:

  1. Always change the default password Often these Internet connected devices are shipped with passwords that are insecure, such as “admin” “password” or just plain blank. Change this first – it’s the primary point of entry.

  2. Update firmwareOften the manufacturer will ship a product knowing that there is a problem with the software and only later fixes the bug with a firmware update. Making sure your devices are updated is one way to minimize your risk of exposure.

  3. Use a unique password for the online portalOften there is a middleman between your devices at home and your mobile device, such as the manufacturer’s website or online portal that connects the two. The password to that online portal should be unique as those portals are targets for hackers and often compromised. You wouldn’t want to use a shared password for an online portal as your email or bank account for instance, so keep it unique so that even if it is compromised, your exposure is limited.

If you believe you have fallen victim to any of these scams, you are encouraged to file a complaint with the Office of the Hawaii Attorney General or with the Federal Trade Commission. We have a complete list of resources, all in one place for you here:

Stay safe out there.


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