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Home / Technology / Ring adds end-to-end video encryption to the doorbells and security cameras of the CES 2021

Ring adds end-to-end video encryption to the doorbells and security cameras of the CES 2021



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Chris Monroe / CNET

This story is part of CES, where our editors will give you the latest news and the hottest gadgets for the completely virtual CES 2021

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The smart home company Ring on Wednesday introduced end-to-end encryption for its video doorbells and home cameras. Launched as a “technical preview”, Ring’s end-to-end video encryption will roll out to existing customers starting today. The feature is available on an opt-in basis.

CNET temporarily stopped recommending Ring products in December 2019 due to privacy and security, especially its partnership with law enforcement in the United States and user data revealed at the end of 2019. Ring has updated its policy page, including making privacy and security settings more accessible via a control center dashboard and introduction of mandatory two-factor authentication.

The Amazon-owned company’s latest move to improve video encryption is another promising step toward keeping users in control of their recorded video files. However, it is not the first company to offer it. Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video Platform also supports end-to-end encryption.

An opt-in function

Ring says that it already encrypts videos when they are uploaded to the cloud and when they are stored on the servers. End-to-end encryption gives customers “an extra lock” that only a customer can unlock on the phone associated with the Call account. This means that Ring and Amazon will not be able to decrypt and then watch customer videos if this feature is used, even for police authorities, a Ring representative said via email.

Ring also confirmed that customers can not send end-to-end encrypted videos through the Neighbors Public Safety Service Video Request portal. That portal is used as part of Ring’s Neighbor’s program, which allows customers to share video recordings with police authorities. Customers using Ring’s end-to-end encryption feature must decrypt the video before sharing it with police.

To find your current encryption settings and to select end-to-end encryption, visit the Call App Control Center and check out the Video Encryption page. I’m reporting on what it’s actually like to sign up for Ring’s end-to-end encryption soon, so stay tuned for updates.

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