After ongoing issues, Ring has informed users it is implementing a number of changes to improve privacy and security.
Ring’s blog post comes as the company is trying to do damage control over a number of mishandled privacy issues. First there were multiple reports of the company’s cameras being hacked, followed by VICE investigating the service’s security and finding it wanting, to say the least. The worst revelation came when the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found that Ring was sharing personally identifiable data with a number of companies, without properly disclosing it to consumers. Ring’s response did nothing to help the situation, admitting they were sharing data with more companies than they said, but that customers should trust they were doing it responsibly.
In the company’s blog post, Ring tries to address multiple concerns, beginning with two-factor authentication.
“While we already offered two-factor authentication to customers, starting today we’re making a second layer of verification mandatory for all users when they log into their Ring accounts,” reads the blog post. “This added authentication helps prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your Ring account, even if they have your username and password.”
The company also addressed its data sharing policies.
“Ring does not sell your personal information to anyone. We occasionally collaborate with third-party service providers that specialize in delivering different benefits, such as identifying and solving your problems faster when you contact Ring Community Support, providing you with personalized Ring offers and discounts, and communicating important alerts about your devices, like when your battery is low. Collaborating with these third-party service providers allows us to deliver the best possible Ring experience to you.”
Ring says it is implementing a number of changes. First it is temporarily pausing most third-party analytics data sharing. Second, the company is also providing customers a way of opting out of third-party data sharing for personalized ads.
Overall, this is a good first step for the company. If Ring had built its service with these steps already in place, they would not have spent the last couple of months losing customer trust and doing damage control.