ring logo

Ring agrees to pay $5.6 million after cameras were used to spy on customers

Amazon’s Ring has settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges that the company allowed employees and contractors to access customers’ private videos, and failed to implement security protections which enabled hackers to take control of customers’ accounts, cameras, and videos.

The FTC is now sending refunds totaling more than $5.6 million to US consumers as a result of the settlement.

Ring LLC, which was purchased by Amazon in February 2018, sells internet-connected, home security cameras and video doorbells.

However, in a shocking lapse of security protection, it turned out that every single person working for Amazon Ring, whether they were an employee or a contractor, was able to access every single customer video, even when it wasn’t necessary for their jobs.

But that wasn’t the only issue. In May 2023, the FTC stated that:

“Ring deceived its customers by failing to restrict employees’ and contractors’ access to its customers’ videos, using its customer videos to train algorithms without consent, and failing to implement security safeguards. These practices led to egregious violations of users’ privacy.”

The FTC gave the example of one employee who, over several months, viewed thousands of video recordings belonging to female users of Ring cameras that were pointed at intimate spaces in their homes such as their bathrooms or bedrooms. This didn’t stop until another employee discovered the misconduct.

The FTC is now sending 117,044 PayPal payments to US customers who had certain types of Ring devices, such as indoor cameras, during periods when the FTC alleges unauthorized users may have had access to customer videos. Customers should redeem their PayPal payment within 30 days.

“The FTC identified eligible Ring customers based on data provided by the company,” the agency told BleepingComputer, clarifying that Ring users “were eligible for a payment if their account was vulnerable because of privacy and security problems alleged in the complaint.”

Consumers who have questions about their payment should contact the refund administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc., at 1-833-637-4884, or visit the FTC website to view frequently asked questions about the refund process.

Beware of scammers

As always, you can expect scammers to take advantage of this news. So, it’s important to know that the FTC never asks people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund.

A payment or claim form sent as part of an FTC settlement will include an explanation of, and details about, the case. The case will be listed at ftc.gov/refunds, along with the name of the company issuing payments and a phone number for questions.

The FTC only works with four private companies to handle the refund process:

  • Analytics Consulting, LLC
  • Epiq Systems
  • JND Legal Administration
  • Rust Consulting, Inc.

Before sending any PayPal payment, the FTC will send an email from the subscribe@subscribe.ftc.gov address to issue a payment recipient. Once payments have been issued, PayPal will send an email telling recipients about their refund.

We don’t just report on threats – we help safeguard your entire digital identity

Cybersecurity risks should never spread beyond a headline. Protect your—and your family’s—personal information by using identity protection.


Pieter Arntz

Malware Intelligence Researcher

Was a Microsoft MVP in consumer security for 12 years running. Can speak four languages. Smells of rich mahogany and leather-bound books.