1.8.2020 10:52 PM

Culture

Report: Ring had to fire four employees for watching users’ video feeds

It makes you wonder: how many times has this gone unreported?

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Ring’s security issues have been escalating for the last year or so — enough so that the company launched a new dashboard in response to complaints. Well, it gets worse: apparently the company has had to fire employees for watching Ring users’ videos, according to a letter obtained by Motherboard. The letter is addressed to five senators in response to one the senators sent Ring in November.

This looks really bad for Ring — Though the letter only cites four incidents of improper employee access, it’s all too possible that there have been many other incidents that went unreported. Ring’s video feeds are notoriously easy for employees to download; everyone from executives to product engineers have had unfiltered access to customers’ videos at one point or another. So, yeah, the four incidents reported in the letter are probably not the only occasions on which this has happened.

Ring is attempting to improve security — Attempting is the key word. It’s obvious that Ring understands its shortcomings, and it seems the company is finally taking steps in the right direction. The new security dashboard contains more detailed privacy and security controls, and it allows users to view connected devices and third-party services as well. Users can also use the dashboard to opt out of receiving video requests from police. Ring has also recently added warning notifications when someone logs in from a new location.

This is still very messy — Ring’s security strategy is mind-boggling. When presented with hard evidence about hacks and harassment, the company’s strategy is to deny it happened, rather than make the necessary fixes. The four employees reported in the letter have been fired, but what does this do to prevent future issues of a similar nature?