Why Should You Care about the Ring Privacy Settlement?

Ding Dong! There is More Than One Person on the Other Side of That Camera

Today, it is common to see traditional button doorbells being replaced with cameras. It is especially common to see those being Ring cameras. Considering that Ring LLC manufactures home security and smart home devices owned by Amazon, it’s understandable that many Amazon users are easily moved to invest in Ring products. Signing up is simple, setup is easy, and your footage is easily accessible.

“Bad Actors”

However, in 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint that Ring employees and contractors, or “bad actors” according to Ring, were able to access private video footage of their customers, including from indoor cameras. According to the FTC, what was most disturbing was that Ring failed to implement basic key security measures. Apparently, the footage was taken to train algorithms, among other purposes, but they did so without customer consent. The result is a settlement where the FTC must refund a total of $5.6 million to customers whose privacy was breached.

Although the settlement issued last week demands Ring delete the content that was obtained illegally, pay a fine, and establish better security measures, the damage has been done. No amount of money will ever get back the private moments that were captured in the videos and viewed by prying eyes.

The Cloud is Not as Fluffy as You Think

Dan Durrer, our CEO and Founder, shared the following in an article for Cyber Defense Magazine:

“Let’s consider IoT devices as an example: most security cameras, smart doorbells, and baby monitors have low-profit margins. The provider makes their money from the cloud subscription services required to keep these devices online. It just so happens that most of these security camera companies are owned by a large corporation — Nest by Google, Blink and Ring by Amazon, etc. It’s very much a black-box situation; what happens to your security feeds and personal info when they pop up into the cloud?”

While the cost of the device and the subscription seems cost-effective from cloud-based companies, it doesn’t compare to the violation in privacy. Furthermore, these companies’ flippant disregard for customer safety and trust is worrisome. No one is setting up cameras in places they don’t care about.

As we mentioned in a previous blog, although the cloud provides convenience, it forces you to essentially put all your trust in the hands of a faceless organization. Trust that, unfortunately, is in constant danger and subject to being violated.

Safe, Secure, and Connected

One of the most crucial steps in managing your smart home is security. Though building a smart home has great benefits, it also creates opportunities for hackers to infiltrate your network, steal your information, eavesdrop, or even take control of your devices. Unfortunately, as we learned, that same invasion of privacy can very well happen at the hands of the brands we’ve come to trust blindly.

Thankfully, there are easy solutions and steps you can take to make sure your connection to your remote devices are always accessible, but importantly, private.

Dynamic DNS Keeps You Connected

Over the years, we have published a number of blogs about security cameras because there never seems to be an end to the numerous security breaches across different brands. However, using a Managed DNS service to connect your security cameras to your personal hard drive is the safest and most trusted way to access such private footage in a snap. So long as you are mindful of your open ports and do your due diligence to ensure your cameras are password protected, you can rest assured that you are operating your cameras in the most responsible way.

Key to Privacy and Security: DDNS Keys

For those that are managing multiple remote devices or want an extra layer of protection, DDNS Keys are a great solution. DDNS Keys are a unique set of credentials assigned to a hostname or group of hostnames. They allow you to utilize a dedicated username and password in place of your No-IP account credentials when configuring an update client. More security and less work? That’s a win win!

But how are they more secure? DDNS Key credentials are separate from your No-IP login, therefore enhancing account security. Paired with 2-factor authentication, they provide an additional level of protection, shielding against unauthorized access and maintaining the integrity of your network. Additionally, DDNS Keys encrypt communication between devices and servers, helping to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.

Included in our Enhanced Dynamic DNS, Pro Dynamic DNS, and Plus Managed DNS packages, DDNS Keys ensure your smart home stays shielded.

Learn More About Safe and Secure Remote Access

Our stellar US-based Customer Support team is happy to answer any of your questions about how you want to better manage your remote devices. Plus, our extensive Knowledge Base includes hundreds of articles if you want to take a deep dive.