The Ring Video Doorbell is a ubiquitous presence in many neighborhoods, giving residents eyes on what’s happening outside their front doors. In 2018, Amazon acquired the startup company behind Ring. Now, Ring doorbells are just one part of a security social network and suite of products offered by the retail giant.
Tech expert Omar Gallaga recently wrote about the Ring ecosystem, and why a lot of people are concerned about its reach. He told Texas Standard that the original Ring doorbell was popular because it offered the ability to see what was happening at the front door from an online app, allowing users to screen visitors and keep an eye on package deliveries. Since Amazon acquired the product, Ring has expanded to include more products and more intrusive features.
“At one point they were doing things like smoke detectors, but now it’s moved on to home security, alarms, path lights – things for outside the home,” Gallaga said. “But really, the biggest push I’ve seen is this idea that it’s a law enforcement tool.”
Highlights from this segment:
– Amazon has been criticized for providing Ring doorbell data to law enforcement agencies, with customers’ permission. The company continues to do so.
– Privacy advocates have expressed concern because the doorbells detect motion and can capture images that appear outside a Ring owner’s property.
– Ring Neighbors is a social network that allows neighbors to share Ring video data, some of which is outdated or mischaracterizes activity in the area.