As smart home technology continues to advance, concern over consumer privacy has increased. Between hackers taking over smart cameras and Google Assistant questions going to third-party vendors, many people are on edge about the idea of always-listening devices. Ring has made numerous improvements to its security and has now announced the roll out of end-to-end encryption to further improve data security.
Ring is the first major home security company to provide end-to-end encryption. It isn’t mandatory, but users can opt in if they want to add more security to their videos. Small steps like this dramatically improve overall data security.
End-to-end encryption can be a bit difficult to understand. Ring already encrypts videos when they’re uploaded to the cloud or stored on Ring’s servers, but end-to-end encryption is like adding another lock to the security. The “key” is stored on a user’s mobile device and can only be decrypted by that specific device. In other words, even if someone were to obtain the video data, it would be useless without the key itself.
Users can enable end-to-end encryption through the Control Center within the Ring app. This is a welcome change to an industry that has often played fast and loose with security. Numerous breaches over the past several years have drawn negative attention to smart home security. For example, Facebook has admitted to listening to private conversations, as did Google, while instructions have emerged informing people how to stop Amazon from listening to their recordings.
Then there are the hackers who have terrorized people through their Nest Cams and other devices. When consumers invite devices into their homes and rely on them for day-to-day convenience, they have to be able to trust that their information is secure. Data breaches destroy consumer confidence in companies and have long-lasting effects.
Data privacy and security has been among the foremost topics of conversation at CES 2021, and Ring’s new end-to-end encryption feature is a step in the right direction. Even if the feature is not mandatory, the option for better encryption combined with two-factor authentication gives consumers significantly more control over their own data.
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