Two weeks ago we reported that the EFF had discovered that the Ring video doorbell app contains a whole bunch of third-party trackers that send customer data including personally identifiable information such as your name, location and email address to analytics companies and social network companies such as Facebook that were not under Ring’s control.
Amazon’s Ring has been under a microscope for the last couple of months due to concerns about Ring sharing data with law enforcement organizations and due to the sensitive nature of the information the cameras collect in and around homes. A subsequent update to the app prompted users to improve their security but did little to address the privacy and data collection issue.
EFF noted that Ring has been collecting and selling information including names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers. As with the Avast case (who were caught red-handed selling user data), these data pointers alone are harmless but when combined together, they can paint a pretty good picture of the user including their shopping, and browsing behaviours.
Now Ring has responded to the concerns by telling CBS that users will be able to opt out of these sharing agreements “where applicable.” The Ring spokesperson declined to clarify what “where applicable” might mean.
Ring has said it contractually limits its partners to use the data only for “appropriate purposes,” including helping Ring improve its app and user experience.
The EFF’s Budington has called Ring’s response inadequate,” saying “it shows the lacklustre approach they have had to user privacy and security.”
Not exactly words you want to hear about a company in such a trusted position, is it? Do our readers agree? Let us know below.