Ring video doorbell offers security, but privacy advocates say it’s not protecting personal info


BRIAN: IT WAS BACK IN 2018 THAT
TECH GIANT AMAZON BOUGHT RING
FOR NEARLY $1 BILLION. SINCE THEN, PRIVACY ADVOCATES
SAY THAT PARTNERSHIP HAS MADE
AMERICANS ANYTHING BUT SECURE.>>WHO IS THAT?>>I’M YOUR BEST FRIEND
BRIAN: BY NOW, MOST OF AMERICA
HAS SEEN FRIGHTENING VIDEOS LIKE
THIS.>>I’M SANTA CLAUS. DON’T YOU WANT TO BE MY BEST
FRIEND? BRIAN: RING DOORBELL SECURITY
SYSTEMS BREACHED. FAMILIES SCARED BY STRANGERS
TALKING TO THEM THROUGH THEIR
SECURITY SYSTEMS. IN A STATEMENT TO NEWS 8 ON YOUR
SIDE, RING SAYS IT’S NETWORK HA
— IT’S NETWORK HAS NOT BEEN
COMPROMISED BY HACKERS AND
STATES IT’S NOT UNCOMMON FOR BAD
ACTORS TO HARVEST DATA FROM OTHER COMPANY’S DATA BREACHES. AT LEAST ONE CLASS ACTION
LAWSUIT HAS BEEN FILED AGAINST
RING ALLEGING SIMILAR INCIDENTS
MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
RING HAS NOT COMMENTED ON THE
SUIT. AT THE SAME TIME, RING SAYS IT’S
ENCOURAGING ITS CUSTOMERS TO
CHANGE THEIR PASSWORDS AND
ENABLE TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
, WHICH WILL SOON BE MANDATORY
FOR ALL NEW RING ACCOUNTS AND DEVICES. BUT SOMEONE GETTING INTO YOUR
RING SECURITY SYSTEM MAY NOT BE
YOUR BIGGEST CONCERN WITH THIS
PRODUCT. A GROWING NUMBER OF PRIVACY
ADVOCATES ARE SOUNDING THE ALARM
ABOUT WHAT’S PASSING THROUGH
THIS CAMERA AND INTO THE HANDS
OF RING, POLICE DEPARTMENTS, AND
THIRD-PARTY COMPANIES THAT MAY BE COLLECTING YOUR DATA. AN INVESTIGATION BY THE
ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION
BASED IN SAN FRANCISCO FOUND THE
RING DOORBELL APP FOR ANDROID
DEVICES CONTAINS THIRD PARTY
TRACKERS.>>WHAT WE WERE SURPRISED TO
FIND WAS THE AMOUNT OF TRACKERS
AND THE AMOUNT OF DATA THAT WAS
BEING SENT. REPORTER: EFF CLAIMS A TOTAL
FOUR COMPANIES, INCLUDING
FACEBOOK, ARE COLLECTING
PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE
INFORMATION FROM RINGS ANDROID
DOORBELL APP.>>JUST SENDING ALL THIS INFO
RIGHT OUT TO THIRD PARTIES
WITHOUT ANY REAL MEANINGFUL
KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT. BRIAN: OF THOSE FOUR COMPANIES,
ONLY BRANCH.IO CONFIRMS TO NEWS
8 IT IS ASSOCIATED WITH RING. ON RING’S WEBSITE, ONLY
MIXPANEL.COM IS LISTED AS A
THIRD PARTY ACCESSING CUSTOMER
INFORMATION.>>SO THEY’RE REALLY NOT BEING
FORTHRIGHT WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS. BRIAN: IN NOVEMBER, FIVE US
SENATORS SENT A LETTER TO AMAZON
ASKING THE COMPANY TO ADDRESS
REPORTS THAT RING EMPLOYEES IN
UKRAINE WERE GIVEN UNRESTRICTED
ACCESS TO VIDEOS FROM RING CAMERAS AROUND THE WORLD. RING RESPONDED BY SAYING NO
EMPLOYEE HAS UNRESTRICTED
ACCESS. RING ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IT USES
THIRD PARTY PROVIDERS TO IMPROVE
FEATURES OF ITS MOBILE APP AND
ADDS RING ENSURES THAT SERVICE
PROVIDERS’ USE OF THE DATA
PROVIDED IS CONTRACTUALLY LIMITED TO APPROPRIATE PURPOSES
SUCH AS PERFORMING THESE
SERVICES ON OUR BEHALF AND NOT
FOR OTHER PURPOSES. THE RING NEIGHBORS APP ALSO
ALLOWS YOU TO RECORD VIDEO FROM
YOUR CAMERA AND RING SAYS USERS
HAVE FULL CONTROL OF WHO VIEWS
THEIR RING FOOTAGE. BUT LAST MONTH, RING
ACKNOWLEDGED THAT IT FIRED FOUR
EMPLOYEES FOR WATCHING CUSTOMER
VIDEO FEEDS THAT THEY SHOULD NOT
HAVE BEEN WATCHING

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