Around the same time, executives and engineers in the USA were reportedly given access to Ring's technical support video portal, which included live video feeds from some cameras. This time, it's Amazon-owned Ring that could be in trouble, after a new report claims employees around the world were given access to the video feeds created by its products, including those within customers' homes, and that this footage was unencrypted.
According to The Intercept, Ring's Neighbours service struggled with object identification, leading to the employment of the Ukrainian team to help teach the cameras to identify things correctly. The video portal was meant to be used by customer service, but access to the tool was open to any US employee.
From there, employees could access the footage from anywhere, according to a separate report from the Information.
This included Ring's R&D team based in Ukraine.More news: ExxonMobil and IBM to advance energy sector application of quantum computing
All that's apparently required to tap into the live feeds is a customer's email address. This has also been something of an open secret within the company, with Intercept sources recalling how engineers sometimes teased each other about who they brought home after dates. The source said they had witnessed people kissing, firing guns and stealing.
The home security startup sells doorbells that capture video and audio.More news: VLC Media Player Passes 3 Billion Downloads Mark, AirPlay Support Coming Soon
Ring's doorbell could work well with Amazon Key, which lets delivery personnel put packages inside a home to avoid theft or, in the case of fresh food, spoiling.
Ring went on to win backing from the likes of billionaire Richard Branson and Amazon's Alexa Fund.
"We take the privacy and security of our customers" personal information extremely seriously, ' the spokesperson told the Intercept. In order to improve our service, we view and annotate certain Ring videos.
Ring, in response to The Intercept's enquiry, stated that the videos viewed and annotated by their staff are in fact publicly-shared videos from their Neighbors service, and selected users who've explicitly consented to the sharing of their videos - while not explicitly denying the allegations it does seem to imply that the Ukranian-based development team does not have access to any and all videos. "In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behaviour, we will take swift action against them".More news: Jerry Stiller in hospital after health scare