Class Action Lawsuit in California Against Amazon and Ring Highlights Data Breach Issues
A new class action lawsuit brought against Amazon and Ring have raised issues over hacking incidents that exposed consumer data to identity thieves and other disturbing intrusions. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, the plaintiff, John Baker Orange, filed the class action lawsuit Dec. 26 in California alleging that Amazon and Ring’s lax security standards and defective design left their cameras vulnerable to hackers, potentially exposing his children to danger.
Privacy and Data Security Issues
Orange said in the lawsuit that he bought a Ring camera for his home in July 2019. He says a hacker got access to the camera while his children were outside playing basketball and encouraged them to move closer to the camera. He said once he found out what happened, he changed the password and started using two-factor authentication.
The lawsuit also claims that Ring blames customers for failing to create strong security passwords to protect itself from liability and that Ring cameras will only work when they are connected to a Wi-Fi network. However, neither Ring nor Amazon has designed cameras that are secure against cyber attacks, the lawsuit states. In fact, Ring only requires users to enter a basic password and doesn’t mandate two-factor authentication.
After the hacking incidents came to light, Ring said people might have been reusing previously leaked passwords. But after that comment was made, thousands of emails, passwords and names for Ring cameras were leaked online.
Other Ring users have apparently had similar experiences as Orange. A hacker in Mississippi reportedly got access to a family’s Ring camera and used the speaker to talk to an 8-year-old girl. A man told the girl he was “Santa Claus” and asked her if she wanted to be his best friend. A Florida family also reported that their Ring camera was hacked and that an unknown man began making racist comments about the couple’s son.
What Steps Can You Take?
There is no question that these companies have a responsibility to protect consumers’ privacy and sensitive information. It is indeed frightening to realize that hackers not only have access to our data but also our children when they are at home. Here are a few steps to take to protect yourself and your family.
Be sure to enable two-factor authentication. This provides an extra layer of security between you and a hacker. Also, make sure you are not reusing your passwords. Create passwords that are hard to crash. Use phrases instead of one word to make your passwords stronger. Finally don’t share your login information with others.
If you believe you are victim of a data breach or if you believe your information has been exposed to hackers as a result of corporate negligence, you may be able to file a class action lawsuit to recover damages and hold the negligent corporation accountable. An experienced California class action lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.