Ring rolls out end-to-end encryption for its wired video doorbells and security cameras
Ring has announced that the option to enable end-to-end encryption for video streams is now rolling out globally. Earlier this year, the company started testing the feature in the U.S., but the company is now ready to move the feature out of technical preview.
The Amazon-owned smart home brand has been routinely criticized for sharing data with third-party entities, including law enforcement. In response to this criticism, Ring revealed in the Fall of 2020 that it planned to roll out end-to-end encryption for video uploads so only customers can view the video feed of their doorbell or security camera from their mobile device. Once end-to-end encryption is enabled by the user, neither Ring nor any third-party will be able to view or analyze your live video feed. Because of this, certain features like motion verification or human identification won’t be available when the user turns on end-to-end encryption, which is why the company says the feature is opt-in at the moment.
End-to-end encryption can be enabled from within the Ring mobile app by navigating to Control Center > Video Encryption > Advanced Settings and tapping “Video End-to-End Encryption”. The user must generate a passphrase to be able to access E2EE videos; if this passphrase is lost, then there won’t be any way to access E2EE videos, and the user will have to re-enroll their device.
The feature requires an iPhone running iOS 12 or later or an Android phone running Android 8.0 Oreo or later. It also requires version 5.34.0 or higher of the iOS app or version 3.34.0 or higher of the Android app.
Most importantly, video end-to-end encryption can only be enabled on 13 products, including:
- Ring Video Doorbell Pro
- Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
- Ring Video Doorbell Elite
- Ring Video Doorbell Wired
- Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
- Ring Spotlight Cam Mount
- Stick Up Cam Elite (2nd Gen)
- Stick Up Cam Wired (2nd Gen)
- Indoor Cam
- Ring Floodlight Cam (1st Gen)
- Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
- Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus
- Ring Stick Up Cam Plug-In (3rd Gen)
The company’s battery-powered video doorbells and security cameras do not support end-to-end encryption. The company’s whitepaper on end-to-end encryption can be viewed here.
The company also announced other security improvements today. First, it is expanding the available multi-factor authentication options. In addition to SMS, users can now set up a compatible authenticator app to log in to their Ring account. The company is also rolling out CAPTCHA support in the Ring and Neighbors apps to prevent automated login attempts from unauthorized entities. Lastly, the company is also making it safer and more convenient to transfer ownership of used devices without needing to call Customer Support; new device owners can simply scan the product during setup, which will alert the previous owner and ensure that videos and events tied to the previous owner’s account aren’t visible to the new owner.