Ring Class Action Lawsuit Filed after Hackers Target Families
On January 3, 2020, Stueve Siegel Hanson and Tycko & Zavareei filed a class action lawsuit against Amazon subsidiary Ring LLC alleging that Ring’s home security devices contain security vulnerabilities that allow hackers to spy on and harass customers.
The firms represent Ashley LeMay and Dylan Blakeley, a married couple whose story went viral after they reported to police that a hacker used a Ring device in their 8-year-old daughter’s bedroom to taunt her and call her racial slurs. The hacker played the Tiny Tim cover of Tiptoe Through the Tulips—a song used in the horror film Insidious—through the Ring camera's two-way talk feature. As the girl wandered the room looking for the source of the music, the song abruptly stopped, and a man’s voice rang out: “Hello there…”
In a chilling exchange captured on the device's video recording, the hacker began shouting racial slurs at the girl and encouraging her to misbehave. The encounter ended only after the terrified girl left the room to find her father, who disabled the device. The family’s story was reported on by hundreds of news outlets including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Huffington Post, among others.
The firms also represent Texas couple Todd Craig and Tania Amador, who were held hostage in their own home after a hacker accessed their Ring device and threatened the couple with “termination” if they did not pay a ransom of 50 bitcoin. The hacker also accessed the couple’s doorbell camera and told them, “I’m outside your front door.”
Ring has refused to disclose the identities of the hackers to the victims, who have no way of knowing the motives of the digital intruders or whether they still pose a threat to their safety. The complaint alleges that Ring failed to implement and require basic security protocols to prevent this type of unauthorized access, including two-factor identification, automatic alerts when there is a suspicious log-in, and protections from repeated attempts to log-in to a device.
The lawsuit, currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, asserts claims for negligence, breach of implied contract, and intrusion upon seclusion, among other claims.