Dozens of people who say they were subjected to death threats, racial slurs, and blackmail after in-home Ring smart cameras were hacked are suing the company over “horrific” invasions of privacy, The Guardian reports.
A new class action lawsuit alleges that lax security measures at Ring, which is owned by Amazon, allowed hackers to take over their devices. Ring provides home security in the form of smart cameras that are installed on doorbells or inside people’s homes. The suit against Ring joins complaints filed by more than 30 people in 15 families who say their devices were hacked and used to harass them. Ring “blamed the victims, and offered inadequate responses and spurious explanations”, the suit alleges. The plaintiffs claim the company has failed to update its security measures in the aftermath of such hacks.
“I would imagine that there are a whole lot more people out there who have been hacked,” said Hassan Zavareei, lead attorney on the case. “This is probably just the tip of the iceberg.” The suit outlines examples of hackers taking over Ring cameras, screaming obscenities, demanding ransoms, and threatening murder and sexual assault. One Ring user says he was asked through his camera as he watched TV one night, “What are you watching?”
Another alleges his children were addressed by an unknown hacker through the device, who commented on their basketball play and encouraged them to approach the camera. An older woman at an assisted living facility was allegedly told “tonight you die” and sexually harassed through the camera. One plaintiff who had purchased a Ring device to keep an eye on her four-year-old daughter with a history of seizures alleges that music from a horror film was played through her camera. Ring blamed victims for not using sufficiently strong passwords, the suit says.