Ring Updates Device Security and Privacy—But Ignores Larger Concerns

Ring Updates Device Security and Privacy—But Ignores Larger Concerns By Matthew Guariglia and Bill Budington Amazon’s surveillance doorbell company Ring has announced extra layers of security and control for users after a wave of backlash from civil liberties and cyber security organizations like EFF and Mozilla. Organizations raised major concerns over Ring’s lack of effort in protecting the data and security of users, including permitting multiple log-in attempts that allowed bad actors to take control of people’s Ring cameras; not requiring two-factor authentication; and allowing a number of undisclosed third-party…

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Smart Home Tech, Police, and Your Privacy: Year in Review 2019

Smart Home Tech, Police, and Your Privacy: Year in Review 2019 By Matthew Guariglia If 2019 confirmed anything, it is that we should not trust the microphones and cameras that large corporations sell us to put inside and near our homes. Thanks to the due diligence of reporters, public records requesters, and privacy researchers and activists, consumers have been learning more and more about how these “smart” home technologies can be hacked, exploited, or utilized by the police and other law enforcement agencies. Because many technologies that record audio and…

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Five Concerns about Amazon Ring’s Deals with Police

Five Concerns about Amazon Ring’s Deals with Police By Matthew Guariglia More than 400 police departments across the country have partnered with Ring, tech giant Amazon’s “smart” doorbell program, to create a troubling new video surveillance system. Ring films and records any interaction or movement happening at the user’s front door, and alerts users’ phones. These partnerships expand the web of government surveillance of public places, degrade the public’s trust in civic institutions, purposely breed paranoia, and deny citizens the transparency necessary to ensure accountability and create regulations. You can…

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Amazon’s Ring Is a Perfect Storm of Privacy Threats

Amazon’s Ring Is a Perfect Storm of Privacy Threats By Matthew Guariglia Doors across the United States are now fitted with Amazon’s Ring, a combination doorbell-security camera that records and transmits video straight to users’ phones, to Amazon’s cloud—and often to the local police department. By sending photos and alerts every time the camera detects motion or someone rings the doorbell, the app can create an illusion of a household under siege. It turns what seems like a perfectly safe neighborhood into a source of anxiety and fear. This raises…

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Again!? The NSA’s Phone Records Program Still Can’t Stay Within the Law

Again!? The NSA’s Phone Records Program Still Can’t Stay Within the Law By Matthew Guariglia Just as the Trump administration has signaled its interest in a permanent “clean” reauthorization  of the Patriot Act’s phone surveillance provision, the NSA proves once again that it is not to be trusted with these tools. New documents obtained by the ACLU and reported in the Wall Street Journal have revealed that last year the NSA once again collected phone records of Americans that it was not authorized to obtain. The NSA collected information, including…

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