- Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff defended the company’s security practices, calling them “top of class” in an interview with Business Insider on Monday.
- In recent months, Ring cameras have been hacked on multiple occasions.
- Separately, the company has come under fire for partnering with hundreds of police departments, giving officers access to an extensive surveillance network and the ability to request video from Ring camera owners.
- Siminoff said customers’ insecure passwords, not Ring’s security practices, were to blame for the recent string of hacks.
- He also said the company has no plans to rethink its partnerships with police departments, despite concerns raised by critics.
- Ring faces multiple lawsuits related to the hacks, though the company declined to comment on ongoing legal matters.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff defended the Amazon-owned company’s security practices in an interview with Business Insider on Monday, calling them “at the top of the industry standards.”
In recent months, Ring has faced growing criticism over its security practices after hackers repeatedly accessed Ring cameras, with multiple cases involving spying on children and one leading to multiple lawsuits against the company.
Siminoff said Ring’s own network was not accessed and that the hacks were the result of customers using insecure passwords or passwords that had already been leaked in previous breaches not involving Ring.
“When something wasn’t breached I think it’s hard to say that you could have done better,” Siminoff said.
Critics have disagreed, arguing that as a security company, Ring should be taking more proactive steps to secure customers’ devices against attacks, such as requiring two-factor authentication for all accounts and alerting customers when their accounts are accessed from multiple locations.
“Ring’s a technology company, it’s in the best position to secure access to its accounts,” said Austin Moore, an attorney representing two couples in a class-action lawsuit filed on Monday against Ring that claims their cameras were hacked.
After a series of hacks in December, the company said it would roll out new security features. Ring confirmed to Business Insider on Monday that the company would make two-factor authentication, a common security practice, enabled by default on new accounts. The company also announced on Monday that it would launch a “Control Centre” to allow users to more easily access security settings.
Separately, Ring has come under fire for what some have called a cosy relationship with police, which Siminoff defended, saying that the company has given both customers and law enforcement “more privacy, more security, and more control.”
Ring has partnerships with hundreds of local police departments, giving officers access to an extensive surveillance network and the ability to request video from Ring camera owners. In some cases, Ring even required police departments to promote its products and services as part of the deal.
A spokesperson for Ring said on Monday that Control Centre would also allow users to more easily opt out of requests by police to access video and approximate location data; accounts will still be opted into receiving police requests by default.
Critics have argued that Ring’s camera network and its neighbourhood-based social media app raise significant privacy and civil liberty issues as well as concerns about racial profiling. The company also came under fire from lawmakers after reporting revealed lax data privacy practices at its Ukraine office.
Siminoff said he does not believe that Ring’s products have created any such issues.
“I think our customers are understanding our product and they’re using it and they’re getting benefit from it and we’re seeing that,” Siminoff said, referring both to private citizens who own Ring cameras as well as Ring’s law enforcement customers.
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