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Amazon Ring Pushes Out Major App Update To Focus On Privacy & Security

Amazon owned Ring security cameras has pushed out an update to its phone app with the aim of consolidating its privacy and security settings.

It’s likely a response to global concerns surrounding high profile incidents of leaks and hackers who have hijacked the in-home camera feeds in recent months.

The changes, which were teased at CES 2020, include the implementation of a ‘Control Centre’ within the Ring app to allow owners of its security devices easy access to security options.

This includes a two-factor authentication, an easy to use feature that, as Gizmodo reported, prevents cameras from being hijacked remotely.

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

The controls also enable users to see a list of devices authorised to access Ring accounts, which users can easily remove if they see unfamiliar devices and users associated with their account – if necessary.

These controls will also be available for external services linked to Ring products, including home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, which enables voice control.

Ring delayed the app update to an account used by Gizmodo ahead of schedule so that reporters could review the functionality of the changes, according to the publication.

It’s reported that most of the features ‘added’ to the Ring Control Centre were already available to owners, but Ring redesigned the app to raise awareness of their availability and ensure they’re easily accessible.

In an email to Gizmodo, the Amazon owned company said it was also adding new features.

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

‘Ring is also excited to launch some additional new security features. Currently, email notifications are sent to a Ring user when a login using their credentials occurs from a new client hardware device or a new IP address, and in February users will also see:

Approval Broadcast: Users will be able to use two-step verification to authorise any new client device that logs in with correct credentials before that device can gain access to the Ring account. Users will receive an email letting them know that a new device has logged into their account, and the user will have to manually confirm the new client device before it can gain access to their Ring account.

Two-Factor as the Default Setting: Two-factor authentication will be a mandatory part of the setup flow for all new accounts, meaning users will have to manually opt-out of two-factor authentication setup,’ the email read.

The new app changes have been hailed as a ‘step in the right direction’ for the company, that has been plagued in hacking and leak scandals over the past year that has raised scrutiny over the company’s commitment to user privacy.

Federal lawmakers also began to publicly criticise the company and even wrote an official letter, asking Ring to explain their processes to protect their customers.

But the app update does not address lingering questions over the company’s partnerships with law enforcement agencies that allegedly see’s the company give them access to owners’ cameras for monitoring.

(Photo: Holger Hollemann/dpa)

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