Amazon's Ring Wireless Cameras Finally Get End-To-End Encryption But There's A Caveat
Ring made headlines earlier this year when the vice president of public policy for Amazon, Ring’s parent company, revealed that Ring has shared video footage from its customers’ devices with the police without asking customers or receiving a warrant from the authorities. In our coverage of that news, we wrote that Ring users could avoid having their footage shown to the police by enabling E2EE. Ring encrypts customers’ recordings stored in the cloud by default, but the home security company retains the keys to decrypt this data. However, Ring’s optional E2EE feature offers a way for Ring users to restrict access to their footage. When E2EE is enabled, only devices explicitly specified by the user can access video and audio recording, preventing Ring, law enforcement, or any other third parties from viewing user footage.
Ring users should also know that enabling E2EE disables a number of other Ring features. E2EE prevents users from viewing action snapshots in notifications, as well as video previews in the Ring app’s Event Timeline view. Users also aren’t able to view Ring footage on Echo Show devices or in third-party apps. Sharing Ring footage outside the app is disabled as well. Besides these access limitations, E2EE disables Alexa Greetings, Quick Replies, and Bird’s Eye View, which uses 3D Motion Detection to display the paths taken by those approaching Ring doorbells. Fortunately, none of these restrictions prevent Ring devices from fulfilling their primary function of recording security footage.