Ring privacy, and how to improve it

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The ring is a home security system manufacturing company with a range of products that allow homeowners to keep their property safe. Although Ring products are meant to protect people but Ring users have actually been exposed to all sorts of privacy risks. Ring products have been hacked in past resulting in the privacy of users being breached not to mention Ring allegedly has shared recordings from Ring security cameras with law enforcement. The ring has been trying to improve its privacy practices and data security as an attempt to restore its reputation. But Ring users are still pretty concerned about their privacy and have been asking a lot of questions about Ring privacy and ways to improve their privacy levels. Some commonly asked Ring privacy questions are as follows:

How does Ring deal with user privacy?

Ring handles user privacy by encrypting the video recordings, providing two-factor authentication options to users, physical surveillance of Ring data servers, malware protection, and limiting access to user data.

How can you improve your privacy if you use Ring?

You can improve your Ring account privacy with the help of the privacy control center available within your Ring app.

How can you get information removed from the Ring?

You can delete your Ring account to properly remove your data from Ring.

How can you find out what information Ring has about you?

You can download a copy of your Ring security camera footage and find out the video data Ring has about you.

Does Ring tell you who they share your information with?

Ring shares your data with its affiliates and subsidiaries, service providers, with financial institutions for processing payments, third party products and services, and legal entities.

Does Ring remove user information from third parties?

The ring cannot remove user data it has shared with third parties.

Ring privacy, and how to improve it 1
By Ring – https://ring.com/press, CC BY-SA 4.0

When there is data retention there is a risk of data being leaked. And while it is true that Ring doesn’t sell user data there is always a possibility of a data breach or your Ring account being compromised. This is why every Ring user should know what controls they have over their data and how they can improve their privacy while using Ring. And in this article, we will answer all of the frequently asked Ring privacy questions in detail so keep reading. 

How does Ring deal with user privacy?

As mentioned above Ring has suffered from data breaches and other privacy scandals in the past. And while recovering from the damaged reputation Ring has actually set up an effective user privacy-protecting system. Some measures Ring utilizes for ensuring user privacy include:

● Encrypting the video recordings:

Ring allows its users to store video recordings at their servers and all of the videos are encrypted from the source until they reach the Ring storage servers. The video recordings are also stored in an encrypted form. Encrypting the recordings turns the video into an unreadable coded form to prevent unauthorized individuals from viewing or accessing the private security footage. This is one of the most important user data privacy measures that Rings has put in place to protect security footage recordings from their customers.

● Providing two-factor authentication option to users:

A password is the standard way to protect your account from unauthorized access. But Ring makes it mandatory for users to activate two-factor authentication as a way of adding an extra layer of security for your Ring account. With two factor authentication, you will be required to provide your account password along with a unique code to access your account. This feature protects your Ring account data in case someone finds out about your account password because your account will be inaccessible without the unique authentication code that is sent to you each time you try to login to your account.

● Physical surveillance of Ring data servers:

All the user data including the security camera footage is stored in secure data centers with constant security to prevent anyone from breaking in and gaining access to sensitive user data.

● Malware protection:

There is always a risk of a cyberattack on the Ring data centers because the servers are linked to the internet. And even though the user data is stored in the encrypted form it is still important to keep it safe from any breaches. This is why Ring employs firewalls and malware detection systems to detect and remove any malicious codes or viruses from the data servers that can be used to gain illegal access to user information.  

● limiting access to user data:

Ring has a policy of restricting access to user data and only a few authorized personnel withinRing can gain limited access to user data for maintenance and other data security purposes.

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By AminCC BY-SA 4.0

How can you improve your privacy if you use Ring?

The ring has recently launched a privacy control center for its users that contains plenty of features and options that users can use to improve their Ring account privacy. You can enable the following features through Ring privacy control center to make your Ring account and data even more secure:

● Turn on two-factor authentication:

As explained in the previous section of this article two factor authentication is the second layer of security for your Ring account other than the password. To enable two-factor authentication for your Ring account open up your Ring app and then select the three lines on the top left corner of the home screen and from the menu pick “Control Center”. Next, find and tap on the “Two Factor Authentication” option and then select the button labeled “Turn On Two-Factor”. You will have to provide your Ring password to confirm your identity and after providing your account password select “Continue”. Now you will have to provide your mobile phone number on which you want to receive the authentication code when logging in. Provide the cell phone number and again select “Continue”. You will receive an authentication code via SMS which you will have to provide in the field inside your Ring app to finish setting up two-factor authentication for your Ring account.

● Remove unwanted devices from accessing your Ring account:

Ring allows you to check which devices have access to your Ring account and it also provides you the option to remove the unauthorized devices via the control center. To check and remove unwanted devices from accessing your Ring account simply go to the control center option in your Ring app and select the “Authorized Client Devices” within the control center. If you see any suspicious or unknown devices in the authorized client devices list remove all of the devices and reenroll only the trusted devices you want to use with your Ring account.

● Stop sharing your security camera footage with local police:

Ring is notorious for sharing security camera footage with law enforcement but you can stop your Ring camera devices from sharing footage with law enforcement using the control center. Simply go to the control center of your Ring account and select the “Video Requests” option. Within the video requests option simply slide the button to left (Off) position to stop law enforcement from accessing your Ring security camera footage.

How can you get information removed from the Ring?

Your Ring account information can only be fully removed if you delete your Ring account. You can delete your Ring account and all of your data associated with it by logging into ring.com using your Ring account details and then go to https://ring.com/account/datarequests and select “Delete my account” option to permanently delete your account and all your data associated with it.  

How can you find out what information Ring has about you?

You can download your Ring video recordings and review them anytime you want and since your computer is going to have the biggest storage space among all of your devices it is recommended to download the video on your computer since video recordings can take up a lot of space. Simply go to ring.com/account and pick the video you want to download. Click on share option and then pick the “Get Link” option to get a link of the video you want to download and paste the link into the address bar of your browser in a new tab and press enter. The video you selected will load up and all you have to do next is click on the three dots at the bottom right corner of the video to download the video.  

Ring privacy, and how to improve it 5
By AminCC BY-SA 4.0

Does Ring tell you who they share your information with?

Ring shares user data with some third parties including:

● Affiliates and subsidiaries:

Ring is owned by Amazon and similarly Ring has some subsidiaries as well and since both the Ring affiliates and subsidiaries share resources including storage locations they also share user data with each other.

● Service providers:

Ring outsources various key functions to third-party service providers that help Ring in providing their products and services to end-users. These third-party service providers include shipping partners and advertisement service providers. And Ring has to share a certain amount of data with these third parties to allow them to carry out the necessary tasks for Ring.  

● Financial institutions:

Ring shares some financial details of its users with financial institutions to carry out transactions such as client payment processing and refunds.   

● Third-party products and services:

If you attach a third-party service or app with your Ring account these third parties can access limited information from your Ring account. So be careful when you attach a certain third party service with your Ring account.

● legal entities:

As we have explained multiple times in this article Ring shares security footage with the police but other than that Ring might also share user data with courts and law enforcement for legal purposes such as investigating fraud, terms of condition violations, property loss, and other similar cases.

Does Ring remove user information from third parties?

Ring does not control any of the third parties it shares user data with.  So if you want to get your information removed after Ring has shared it with a certain third party you will have to contact the third party directly.