A former employee of Amazon’s Ring doorbell company spied on female customers with cameras that were placed inside the bathroom and bedrooms of their homes, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
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The announcement was made in a court filing that revealed a $5.8 million settlement with Ring over privacy violations, as relayed by the New York Post.
As part of the settlement, Amazon promised to make some changes to Ring, which it purchased in 2018. It made similar promises about Alexa, as Amazon also agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations it violated children’s privacy rights when it failed to delete Alexa recordings at the request of parents. That was part of a different court filing.
The FTC said the former Ring employee viewed videos of at least 81 females in 2017 via the cameras installed in their homes. A colleague eventually noticed and reported the employee, the FTC said.
In 2019, Ring changed its policies, saying employees could only view videos with customers’ consent.
FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya told Reuters that the settlements show big tech companies that collecting data should not mean breaking the law.
“This is a very clear signal to them,” Bedoya said.