Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Ring security cameras are displayed at Amazon headquarters in Seattle, Washington on September 25, 2019. (Photo: Glenn Chapman/AFP via Getty Images)

Amazon and Ring Hit With Lawsuit After Camera Hacks Confirm Worst Fears of Privacy Advocates

"These devices are not safe," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future.

Jake Johnson

Home security company Ring and its parent corporation Amazon were hit with a lawsuit in federal court Thursday alleging that their cameras have been hacked on numerous occasions due to inadequate protections, confirming privacy advocates' fears about the devices.

John Baker Orange of Alabama, the plaintiff in the case, said in the lawsuit (pdf) that his Ring security camera was recently hacked while his children were playing basketball outside of his home.

"Mr. Orange's children were playing basketball when a voice came on through the camera's two-way speaker system," reads the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. "An unknown person engaged with Mr. Orange's children, commenting on their basketball play and encouraging them to get closer to the camera. Once Mr. Orange learned of the incident, he changed the password on the Ring camera and enabled two-factor authentication."

"Ring does not fulfill its core promise of providing privacy and security for its customers, as its camera systems are fatally flawed," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also cites the alarming breach of a Ring security camera in DeSoto County, Mississippi, where a hacker gained access to a device installed in an 8-year-old girl's bedroom and began speaking to her.

"I'm your best friend," the hacker said. "I'm Santa Claus."

Privacy advocates and digital rights groups have long been sounding the alarm about the gaping security flaws in Ring devices.

Earlier this week, Fight for the Future called on tech review sites to rescind their recommendations of Ring products.

"Tech reviews and guides play an important role in people deciding which devices to buy," Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement. "The reviewers we've reached out to recommended Ring as the best in their category. Meanwhile, report after report details security issues, concerns, and leaks with Ring technology. These devices are not safe. It's important reviewers honor the public trust and suspend their recommendation."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Two Years After George Floyd Murder, Biden to Issue Executive Order on Police Reform

"The entire culture and mentality needs to change to bring these words to life, and to save lives," said one civil liberties advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'Wholesale Fraud' in Michigan Governor Race Could Disqualify GOP Candidates

"It looks like the Republican clown car may be losing a few occupants."

Jessica Corbett ·


Jayapal Says Corporate-Friendly No Labels Shows 'True Colors' by Undermining Jan. 6 Investigation

"To malign the January 6 Committee as a 'partisan exercise' is a dangerous message for the American public and our democracy—one that deeply undermines the committee's work and denies the truth about the Republican Party."

Brett Wilkins ·


As End of Roe Looms, US Doctors Say 'Abortion Is Essential Healthcare'

"Although ACOG's long-standing abortion policy supported safe, legal, evidence-based abortion care, the current reproductive health crisis calls for revisions which make it unmistakably clear that ACOG trusts doctors and patients," said the group.

Julia Conley ·


Biaggi to Primary 'Selfish Corporate Democrat' Sean Patrick Maloney in NY

The New York state senator says she's running "to protect and defend our democracy, to halt the climate crisis, to grow our supply of affordable housing, and to transform our government and economy to serve us all."

Andrea Germanos ·

Common Dreams Logo