A judge has ruled that an Amazon Ring doorbell broke camera data laws and amounted to harassment and damages of more than £100,000 could be awarded to the aggrieved neighbour Dr Mary Fairhurst, who moved out of her home due to the intrusive device. Dr Fairhurst told the court the devices placed her under "continuous visual surveillance" and that her neighbour had become aggressive when she complained about the cameras. 

The Judge found that the Ring doorbell breached the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR as the images and audio files captured on the doorbell were classed as her personal data. Her neighbour had failed to process her data in a fair and transparent manner as required by the rules. 

The ruling was made in the county court and so is not binding on other courts however there may well be a trend of similar cases following this decision. People have the right to protect their property but clearly this does not mean people can spy on their neighbours. As well as the risk of being sued, smart doorbells also came under fire for being easy targets for hackers... 

Is this the end for smart doorbells?