The One Time Pad: Feb 11, 2020

TFW your doorbell betrays you.

Jon Watson

Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers

The Ring doorbell has become the poster child for unabashed surveillance thinly veiled as a useful device. We know that Ring cooperates with law enforcement, which is somewhat controversial. It sounds like a good idea to allow LEO to harvest the video from all the Ring cameras on a street, but let’s face it - trust in law enforcement is at an all time low, especially in the U.S.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has uncovered that Ring is much worse than anyone though. It is sending all sorts of data, including personal data such as full names, to advertisers. Yes…advertisers. WTF, Ring?

Ring gives MixPanel the most information by far. Users’ full names, email addresses, device information such as OS version and model, whether bluetooth is enabled, and app settings such as the number of locations a user has Ring devices installed in, are all collected and reported to MixPanel. MixPanel is briefly mentioned in Ring’s list of third party services, but the extent of their data collection is not. None of the other trackers listed in this post are mentioned at all on this page.

Ring also sends information to the Google-owned crash logging service Crashalytics. The exact extent of data sharing with this service is yet to be determined.

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