The BBC originally made the data subject access request
(DSAR) in January to tie into a broader investigation into the ways Amazon
gathers and uses information about its customers.
We don’t want to steal the BCC’s thunder (you should read the
articles) but to summarise
Ring (Amazon) knows (and the user cannot opt-out)
When your doorbell activates
How often (patterns)
Using facial and object recognition could know
who is coming or going
Can use geofencing to know how long you are at
The article concludes
Data access requests only ever show us the tip of the
iceberg of the amount of data that companies collect about us.
There’s enormous value – and power – in collecting
non-personal data for all sorts of purposes: market research, training and AI.
Even anonymous data can have privacy implications, for
instance, about the collective privacy of, say, a housing block, a group of
people, or a household unit.
GadgetGuy’s take – Ring may be a good company, but it is making a hash of this
Privacy should not depend on a multi-page end-user agreement that gives Ring/Amazon limitless power to do whatever it wants to with your information. It all boils down to ‘Can you trust Amazon‘ and the overwhelming fear is probably not. Sam Bocetta describes Amazon as creeping cancer.
Will Ring substantively alter its business model to stop gathering unnecessary data or sharing that with the world’s largest online shop? We suspect not.
Ring Update 16 March – too little, too late.
We have temporarily paused the use of most third-party analytics services in the Ring apps and website while we work on providing users with more abilities to opt out in Control Center. In early spring, we will provide customers with additional options to limit sharing information with third-party service providers.
Users can now opt out of sharing their information for the purpose of receiving personalized ads. If a user opts out, Ring will not share their information with third parties to serve them personalized Ring ads. If they visit Ring.com and are not logged in though, Ring will not know to apply this preference to the user’s visit. Although we believe personalized advertising can deliver a better customer experience, beginning this week we will provide users with a choice to opt out in Control Center.
Ring has used its wordsmiths to put lipstick on a pig! Instead of forcing users to opt-out it should simply ask whether they want to opt-in as most country’s privacy legislation mandates. Sorry Ring – you had an opportunity to fix things and you blew it. GadgetGuy cannot recommend any Ring product and it is looking closely at its parent Amazon!