Ring has begun to add end-to-end encryption to the video streams coming from its products.
With the new function, Ring ensures that the images from doorbells and video cameras are protected from the product to the user’s device (think of a smartphone, for example). This means that no one can intercept the stream and can therefore watch with you. The function, which ended September announced, is now rolling out as a technical preview and is available for eight devices.
Ring adds end-to-end encryption to focus more on security
This is a wise move from Ring. The company says it will not view customer images without permission – but it is technically possible. In the past, the manufacturer has been accused of the idea of watching customers; and the fact that the company can provide camera images to the police on request is not a pleasant thought for many people either.
With end-to-end encryption, many problems are solved because Ring is then no longer able to intercept the stream. This does mean that new problems are emerging. But for people who value privacy (and still use smart home products), that may be a sacrifice they are only too happy to make. For example, the Amazon Echo Show, a smart display, stop showing the images when you ask for it. The Echo Show does not support encryption.
In addition, video sharing takes a little longer. Previously you could share them very easily, but now you have to download and upload videos manually before another can get their hands on them.
Initially, encryption is only available for non-battery-powered products. Such cameras and video doorbells are able to arrange many things locally, on the hardware of the product, while products that work on a battery shift a lot of work to the cloud. And then it is not possible to realize the encryption. It is also true that you do not need to have a subscription for this. The condition is: you must live in the US to participate in the preview. Ultimately, the function must also come to Europe and of course the Netherlands.