I'm ready to stop buying Ring products unless they take privacy more seriously

Ring Video Doorbell 2
Ring Video Doorbell 2 (Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

I use a Ring Video Doorbell Pro. I'm not so much concerned about capturing video for the cloud or monitoring what goes on in my front yard (I have other cameras for that) but because I don't walk quickly, answering my doorbell remotely is extremely convenient. And when you work for a website like Android Central you get a lot of packages. With the Ring app, I can ask the driver to come to the back door or to please leave it under the bench and waive any signature requirements.

I hate to do it because a video doorbell has made a big difference in my life.

Unfortunately, I'm removing the doorbell and replacing it with one that doesn't send my data to Facebook and other third-party trackers.

Multiple Ring data breaches reported, thousands of customers impacted

And that's exactly what is happening, according to the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). And I trust the EFF a lot more than I trust Ring.

Ring helps Facebook track you even if you don't have a Facebook account.

Finding out that cloud-connected Internet of Things devices are playing fast and loose with our information is nothing new. But what the Ring app for Android is doing is untenable. It's delivering data like users' real names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent device identifiers, and the actual sensor data on the devices themselves. Yikes.

Even more: Ring found hiding coordinates in Neighbors posts that pinpoint its cameras

Maybe you're thinking that this isn't a terrible breach of trust. But when any company has this amount of data, it's pretty easy to build a profile of you and keep track of a lot of other things using data they get from other apps. Among the parties getting this data is Facebook, and it can keep tabs on you with information like this even if you don't have a Facebook account. Yikes x2.

I don't want to stop using my Ring doorbell. It genuinely makes my life easier. But there's no way in heck that these companies are getting any more information about me from me. They'll just have to find another sneaky way to nab it because I'm cutting my losses and my $200 fancy doorbell is going in the drawer with my EVO 3D and Nexus 6.

Maybe instead I'll try one of those cameras that stores my video stream locally.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.