(Pocket-lint) - Ring announced last autumn it would adopt end-to-end encryption, and now, it is starting to add support to its cameras.
The new security feature encrypts video streams (coming from your Ring camera and to a device) so that your footage isn't viewable or accessible by anyone trying to intercept it. It will start rolling out on 13 January 2021. But it's launching as part of a technical preview. In a statement to the media, Ring said end-to-end encryption is about "user choice, to create that advanced layer of security".
Currently, Ring camera footage is encrypted when transmitted to Ring’s server, but Ring could access that footage to enable some features. Ring maintains it does not view customer videos without permission, but it can, technically, do so. It can also hand over your Ring camera footage to law enforcement when served with a search warrant. End-to-end encryption would put a stop to all that.
There are limitations, however. Some devices, like Echo Show, can't display encrypted footage because they don't support end-to-end encrypted streams. Other features, like sharing videos, means you’ll have to download videos, rather than just using the share settings on Ring's website.
As for Ring’s Neighbors app, camera owners can still share videos with people nearby and law enforcement. However, you’ll have to download the footage first and then manually upload it, adding more steps to the process than before.
Finally, end-to-end encryption is only available in the US, at launch, for Ring cameras that are plugged in for power. More specifically, it's rolling out to eight Ring cameras, including the company's doorbell, indoor, and outdoor models.
No subscription is required.
Amazon-owned Ring said it plans to expand access to everyone. The feature also will need to be enabled, it said, but it will notify customers when the feature becomes available. End-to-end encryption can also be turned off per camera.