employees of the "smart door" manufacturer called Ring had access to videos from customers' homes – Services on vc.ru – Arcynewsy

The company uses people to recognize objects, because their system can not do it alone, sources say.

The journalists have accused the manufacturer of rings “smart” rings in the improper handling of customer data. Published surveys The Intercept and The Information.

Ring is a startup for the development of “smart” video calls, purchased by Amazon at the beginning of 2018. The amount of the transaction could be $ 1 billion, sources said. Ring allows you to record and track in real time who enters and leaves the house.

The company also has a Neighboring service that allows people to share and comment on security information about the area. In the application, you can find many videos taken from Ring devices – this data should help police solve crimes faster and prevent them, developers say.

Sources Intercept told the publication that since 2016 the company has provided a group of Ukrainian developers with unlimited access to a directory of the Amazon S3 cloud service, which contains videos shot by Ring devices around the world.

According to the interlocutor of the publication, these files were archived in an unencrypted form. In addition, developers have had access to a database that linked each video to a specific user.

Ring also provided the top managers and developers of the US office with access to the technical support video portal, with which it was possible to watch the broadcasts of some customers’ cameras 24 hours a day. the transmission, the owner of a high level of access must know only the customer’s mail, said the interlocutor of The Intercept.

According to the publication, the company has given access to the video to a large number of developers due to the shortcomings of its recognition system. In order for the Neighbors service to really contribute to fighting crime, such a system should have appeared: for example, for the camera to distinguish the thief from the tree in the yard, explains The Intercept.

Ring users repeatedly complained to the help desk because of false alarms from the system: nothing happened in front of the door, but the camera reacted to a passing machine or a falling sheet. To speed up system development, Ring used the work of people who recognized objects manually.

Image from internal documents Ring, on which the operator has “recognized” the objects in the frame. Faces of people closed by the Intercept editors


Intercept writes that people-operators were engaged in manual marking of objects as part of training for a computerized recognition system, but the company continues to hire people for this even a few years later. At the same time, users can assume that this work is done automatically and may have questions about whether their personal data is available to strangers, Mashable notes.

Another source of the publication states that Ring has studied not only data from external cameras, but also material from homes.

A Ring spokesperson did not respond to journalists’ questions about the company’s old policy regarding user data and how it changed after entering Amazon.

The company stated that it takes customer privacy very seriously and that all videos are taken from the Neighbors service, which records the processing of company data, as well as from the cameras of users who have given their allowed.

Intercept journalists have not found any mention in Neighbors’ description that the video from the application can be transferred for manual processing to the company team. Even the privacy policy does not explain what resources – machine or man – the system deals with facial recognition.

# news #amazon

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