Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Edward J. Markey, D-Massachusetts, Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, and Gary Peters, D-Michigan, on Nov. 20 questioned the data security practices of Ring, the home security company, after media reports suggesting its lack of regard for customers’ privacy and U.S. national security.
In a letter to Amazon, which purchased Ring last year, the senators wrote, “Ring devices routinely upload data, including video recordings, to Amazon’s servers. Amazon therefore holds a vast amount of deeply sensitive data and video footage detailing the lives of millions of Americans in and near their homes. If hackers or foreign actors were to gain access to this data, it would not only threaten the privacy and safety of the impacted Americans; it could also threaten U.S. national security. Personal data can be exploited by foreign intelligence services to amplify the impact of espionage and influence operations.”
Recent reports have detailed a number of practices that could put the security of Ring customers at risk, including a recently-patched flaw that left Wi-Fi passwords of Ring doorbells vulnerable to hackers and the apparent unfettered access Ring employees in Ukraine had to videos created by every Ring camera in the world.
“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,’” the senators continued. “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 senators requested responses to their questions no later than Jan. 6, 2020.
A copy of the letter is available at bit.ly/2qAcaqL.