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From the pages of Orlando Weekly: Third-Party Data Trackers in Ring Doorbell Home Security app

Image:  ring smart doorbell, ring.com
Image: ring smart doorbell, ring.com

We’ve become a nation enchanted by the internet of things. Our networked assistants nag us to get in those steps, let us play with our pets when we’re away from home, even get milk delivered before we notice we’re almost out.

In this environment, it’s no wonder that internet enabled Ring doorbells has become one of America's largest security companies. There is little hard evidence that these data-enabled security cameras deter crime, but the thought of scaring off someone trying to steal a package is just irresistible, it seems.

But technology is moving faster than foresight. In December a data leak released the personal information of more than 3,000 users. And an investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation finds that the Ring app is packed with third-party data trackers, and some of them have access much more personal info than users realize. The trackers are “contractually limited to appropriate purposes, Ring says, but the EFF found they are sending user data directly to other analytics and marketing companies, like Facebook.

So, remember: While you’re reveling in the ability to watch the babysitter at home while you’re out for date night, there are a lot more entities peering over your shoulder and watching you than you realize.