November 20, 2019

Wyden, Markey, Van Hollen, Coons, Peters Question Ring’s Data Security Practices

Senators push for answers after reports of inadequate protections for Americans’ privacy and national security

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., today 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.’ 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 continued.

Earlier this year, Wyden introduced the Mind Your Own Business Act, which requires radical transparency about how corporations share, sell and use consumer data and holds accountable corporations that recklessly treat Americans’ personal information.

The senators requested responses to their questions no later than January 6, 2020.

A copy of the letter is available here.