Amazon subsidiary Ring has been selling a slew of high-tech security products for years, but its upcoming Ring Always Home Cam might cross the Rubicon. It’s not just a security camera, but a $250 indoor drone that promises (threatens?) to monitor your entire home. There were already security and privacy concerns around Ring, such as Amazon letting law enforcement tap into camera data (see “Amazon Using Police Departments to Sell Ring Cameras,” 29 July 2019) and transmitting passwords in cleartext (see “Amazon’s Ring Doorbells Sent Wi-Fi Passwords in the Clear,” 21 November 2019), and that was before the company announced a flying spy cam.
Creepiness factor aside, the Ring Always Home Cam is cool technology, but as Jared Newman asked at Fast Company, how many people actually need such a thing? Is Amazon using fear to sell products? Does the existence of products like this (and the marketing that accompanies them) itself fuel more fear? At least Amazon is adding support for end-to-end security in its Ring cameras and an option for Alexa to delete voice recordings immediately.