David Di Pietro appeared on the Fox Business Network to discuss a recent 5 million dollar class action lawsuit that was filed against Amazon regarding their Ring camera system.
The lawsuit was filed by an Alabama man and father of three children who claims that someone hacked into the camera system and used the two-way speaker to harass his three children while they were playing outside.
As a business litigation lawyer with extensive trial experience, David was asked to provide his legal opinion on the merits of this lawsuit. This includes whether or not Amazon should be held liable for this incident.
You can learn more about this story by watching the full video interview below.
- Video Transcript
Reporter: “An Alabama Dad is suing Amazon and the security camera company ‘Ring’, claiming somebody hacked the camera system on his garage and taunted his kids over the speaker while they played basketball. The lawsuit comes just a few weeks after a family in Mississippi reported a stranger hacked the Ring camera in their 8 year old daughter’s bedroom, and told her he was Santa Claus. Amazon owns Ring, we reached out to both companies, of course. We have not heard back from Amazon; Ring told us the company does not comment on legal matters.
Let’s bring in David Di Pietro, he is a trial attorney, and a former state prosecutor, and kicking things off, what should Ring be telling consumers at this point in time?”
David: “I think this is a consumer disaster for Ring right now, but looking at it from the legal standpoint, the whole theory in the cruxes lawsuit falls on, under whether Ring should have had what’s called a two-factor authorization. And your viewers might be familiar with this is when a bank sends a text message to your cell phone to make sure that you’re changing your email password, or your banking password, that you are the actual person doing that. I don’t believe, and I’ve never seen a law, and I don’t believe there’s a legal standard that this is required for a company like Ring to have for their software system. I think it’s horrible what happened to these folks, but at the end of the day, this is a case of no damages. Just because somebody peeps into your life, doesn’t mean that you have, a something where you go to a jury, and say ‘I’m owed X amount of money. I deserve ‘this’ kind of relief’. The theory that cases on this two-factor authorization, and if that falls flat, then this entire case falls flat. It might just be another example of how we can sue each other in this country for almost anything.”
Reporter: “Yeah, but what about how frightened the children must have been, how frightened the parents are. This is something perhaps that they didn’t expect, and that’s even laid out in the lawsuit, you mentioned, you know the two-factor authentication, we’re talking about vulnerability. You’re allowing, essentially, people to look into your home, is there a higher standard on whether you should be required to live up to if you’re essentially providing that window, that could potentially be abused.”
David: “I think this is similar to a case if you slip and fall, and don’t hurt yourself, I think ‘yes’, there’s something wrong here. It’s a consumer issue for Ring, but whether it actually goes to a jury, and say ‘I slipped and I fell, but I don’t have any injuries, so therefore I should have money damages’. That at the end of the day, they’re asking for a jury in California for more money damages. What happened to these children and these people that these perpetrators have broken into the system, they should be prosecuted criminally. That’s a criminal invasion, and they should be prosecuted under the state law, but Ring didn’t do this, so I don’t see how Ring is negligible for having their systems cracked.”
Reporter: “But if Ring knows it’s possible, and knows of ways consumers could be warned, of how to make this more difficult, as you mentioned, the two-factor authentication, which in this lawsuit, they are, Ring, have a responsibility, and they didn’t tell the consumer about that. I mean, do they have a point there? That there is that higher level?
David: “Maybe, but you put a video camera in your house, you’re hooked up to a web based video recording system, just like anything else with electronics, it can be hacked. Your email can be hacked, your banking can be hacked, and now your Ring video cameras in your home are susceptible to being hacked, and I think that’s what we have to decide as consumers. We’re opening ourselves to such much electronics in our lives, video recording, audio recording, Alexa, all of these different devices, but we’re giving up, potentially, our privacy. The perpetrators, not the companies themselves, but the bad people that use this to their advantage, to harm children, to steal your finances, your monies, and all types of things to you, so I think it’s consumers need to be aware and understand that there’s risk with these devices in your home. It’s like if you drive a car, there is a risk that you can get into a car accident.”
Reporter: “There are so many modern devices today that you can talk to, play music, but they can hear you, they’re listening, there are all sorts of things, your phones, GPS, potential tracking, that sort of thing. I mean, is this part of modern life, so what can people do to be aware of it, and should all of these variety of devices be required to help consumers stay safe from any potential hacker?
David: “There’s not much we can do here, we’re moving into a new world, where our privacy, as our technology improves, our privacy is going down. And that’s just something we’re gonna have to live with, and adjust as a society, but I don’t believe that’s actionable. This particular case, in a courtroom, where they should be money damages awarded, it’s just not there.”
Reporter: “We shall see. Well David Di Pietro, I don’t love that we have to life with this idea whats so ever, but thank you so much for joining us, and offering some insight, we appreciate it.”