Amazon Revamps Security Option for Ring Security Cameras

Following the waves of security incidents that affect the Ring smart doorbell, Amazon has finally made some changes to the security policies, which includes the option to opt-out the video request notifications from local police enforcement.

The Ring doorbell should be a straightforward piece of IoT (Internet of Things), following a fire and forget approach. Users could simply deploy the hardware and use it without having to worry about other problems. As it turned out, a video doorbell comes with some security issues that were difficult to anticipate.

For one, Amazon forged a partnership with law enforcement, which provided local police departments with direct access to the Ring cameras, without the need of a warrant. Despite the unpopularity of Amazon’s decision, people continued to buy and enable Ring doorbells.

But the police access to the video footage was not the only issue. The video doorbell also had several vulnerabilities. For example, Bitdefender identified one that allowed attackers to discover the Wi-Fi password of the owner’s network by exploiting a weakness in the setup process.

A few other security problems were discovered afterward, and the company even had to answer congressional inquiries regarding unauthorized access to the videos recorded by the cameras.

Amazon and Ring finally took the first steps towards righting some of the issues that came up. First of all, users can enable the two-factor authentication for their Ring account, a security measure that should be requisite in today’s online-exposed world.

Users can now also remove all devices and third-party services authorized to log into their Ring account, and they can also remove Shared Users. Finally, it’s now also possible to opt-out of receiving video request notifications when local police seek information related to an investigation, before receiving the first notification.

Since the option is opt-out, it means that the option for video request notifications is set to active by default, after the installation. To get access to all of these features, users need to install the latest version of the Android or iOS mobile application.

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