Amazon’s Ring unit has agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that its doorbells illegally spied on users.

The settlement addresses a lawsuit filed by the FTC Wednesday accusing Ring of unlawfully deceiving its customers over the privacy of their data and the videos collected by its products. According to the agency’s complaint, Ring failed to restrict employees and contractors from accessing customer videos and used them to train algorithms without user consent.

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“Ring’s disregard for privacy and security exposed consumers to spying and harassment,” FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection director Samuel Levine said in a statement Wednesday. “The FTC’s order makes clear that putting profit over privacy doesn’t pay.” 

The FTC’s complaint alleges that Ring failed to implement meaningful guardrails to protect employees and third-party contractors from accessing customer videos. In one case, the FTC claims a Ring employee viewed “thousands of video recordings” originating from female users that “surveilled intimate spaces in their homes,” like their bedrooms and bathrooms. This offending behavior continued until it was discovered by another employee, the FTC said. 

(via: theverge)

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