Amazon’s New Automated In-House Security Camera Raises Privacy Concerns

Amazon has introduced the Ring Always Home Cam, a drone with a camera that users can control remotely, sparking privacy concerns in the community, given the company’s track history with this sensitive subject.

The Ring Always Home Cam is usually docked, but users can operate it remotely for up to five minutes. Finding justification for a real world-scenario is a stretch. Theoretically, you can check your home for other sensors that indicate a break-in or to see what your pet is doing. These are niche situations that would hardly warrant the need for a flying camera.

A flying in-door drone perfectly fits the definition of the Internet of Things (IoT devices), and very few technologies have a worse security track record than IoT. Privacy and security issues plague the Ring line of smart doorbell cameras, and introducing a new attack vector might not be the right choice.

Over the past year, numerous Ring issues were brought to light. Things like the doorbell leaking Wi-Fi credentials or strangers connecting to smart cameras only to threaten children underlined Rings vulnerabilities. And just because Amazon fixed some vulnerabilities, it doesn’t mean others are not there.

Users and security specialists alike took to Twitter to express worries about the possible implications of a roaming camera inside the home. The prospect of having a camera drone is not all that appealing to many, especially because Amazon has a widespread partnership with law enforcement agencies for the Ring doorbell, allowing officers to access footage without a warrant.

The Ring Always Home Cam announcement comes soon after another Amazon reveal that raised similar concerns. The company plans to increase the range of some of its Bluetooth-enabled devices, allowing them to connect to others that are not even in the same house. The goal is to keep them online, even if they don’t directly link to the Internet.