Ring beefs up privacy and security controls in response to rash of hacks

Ring video doorbell Pro
(Image credit: Ring)

Over the past several months, Ring has come under attack as users have reported that strangers have taken over their home security cameras, while another potential 3,000 usernames and passwords were leaked by a third party. And now Ring is doing something about it.

While not hacks in the strictest sense of the word (seriously, enable two-factor authentication and pick stronger passwords), these incidents have brought a lot of attention to Ring, owing to the ubiquity of the company's home security cameras and video doorbells.

At the same time, the company has also been criticized for its lack of transparency when allowing law enforcement agencies to join its Neighbors app, and letting them view and save footage of incidents. 

Ring unveils Control Center

Ring is hoping to alleviate all of these concerns with a new feature in its app called Control Center. Due to roll out by the end of January, Control Center will allow users to manage which of their devices and third-party services (such as Alexa) are connected to a Ring product.

More significantly, Control Center will also let customers opt out of receiving video requests from law enforcement. Future updates to Control Center will also make it easier to view and change other privacy and security settings. 

Considering Ring has largely been silent as these various reports have come out, the fact that the company is updating its app to be more transparent about who can see your videos is welcome news, and long overdue. 

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.