Smart home security company Ring was so popular that Amazon bought it up just a few years after it launched. Most popular for its smart video doorbell, Ring quickly cornered that market and its name almost became synonymous to that category. And then came the exposé that showed how the company was too quick to share users’ data with third-parties. Now Ring has put its data collection on hold but it won’t be forever.
Ring’s practice of collecting user data and handing them over to other entities fell under the usual reasons of analytics and compliance with authorities. The company was accused of too readily providing law enforcement with information about where Ring doorbells are installed and for using its mobile app to track users and collect their data away from their homes.
The company faced severe backlash over these practices, forcing it to surface new controls that allowed users to opt out of that data collection, including police video requests. Apparently, that isn’t enough to appease existing users, forcing Ring to rethink its entire strategy. The company is now confirming that it is pausing its use of most of these third-party analytics services but there are a few caveats users need to know.
For one, it’s not going to be permanent naturally. Ring is just re-evaluating its options to implement a different system that will appease critics. Possibly also one that they can either hide better or at least justify better legally. Ring does promise it will provide stronger privacy controls when it restarts that.
And then there’s the data collection on the mobile for personalized ads. That’s still continuing despite the hold on data collection. Users do have the option to turn that off and, according to Ring, that will be the end of their tracking.