Amazon doorbell ruling opens way for privacy actions

Amazon is potentially facing a wave of legal claims after a judge ruled that a neighbour’s Ring smart doorbell had invaded an Oxford doctor’s privacy.


The US online giant owns Ring and the judge’s decision seemingly paves the way for thousands of similar privacy lawsuits.


Jon Woodard’s use of his cameras broke data laws and amounted to harassment of Dr Mary Fairhurst, the judge ruled.


Ring works by alerting a homeowner when a visitor arrives at the door, but Woodard fitted four devices to deter car thieves, which Dr Fairhurst alleged amounted to her being under ‘continuous visual surveillance.’


In particular, the judge said the audio range of the doorbell was not reasonable for crime prevention.


Yesterday’s ruling, which saw Fairhurst awarded GBP100,000, is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK and sets a precedent for the Ring doorbell.


The news came as Amazon faced a writ a lawsuit from 3,000 UK delivery drivers over their status at the company.


Lawyer Leigh Day is bringing class-action on behalf of the drivers, which if successful would mean each receiving GBP10,500 for each year they have delivered for the company, or GBP140mln in totoal.


Drivers hired by Amazon from third-party delivery firms should have the same rights as its own staff, said the lawyer.




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