VIDEO doorbells are seen just about everywhere these days – but are you using yours wisely?
Devices like Ring make it easier to answer the door when you’re not in and also provide a great security boost.
So, what could possibly go wrong?
Fines for breaching a neighbour’s privacy
You need to make sure your smart doorbell doesn’t breach the privacy of others.
Last year, a man was told he’d have to pay his neighbour a huge sum after a judge found the use of cameras broke data laws and caused harassment.
Dr Mary Fairhurst, of Thame, Oxfordshire, claimed the Ring devices used by Mr Jon Woodard were “intrusive” and had left her feeling under “continuous visual surveillance.”
Amazon, which owns Ring, advises owners to ensure people know they are being filmed by putting Ring stickers on their door or windows.
You can make use of the Privacy Zones feature so you’re only filming your property as well.
Police could take footage without asking you
Law enforcement can issue a warrant for footage if they’re needed for an investigation.
But reports have recently emerged that Ring – as well as Google’s Nest – may rarely allow police to gain footage without a warrant.
These are only for seriously urgent, life threatening situations.
It’s claimed that Ring shared homeowners’ footage with law enforcement without their knowledge at least 11 times this year.
However, Ring says it’s “simply untrue that Ring gives anyone unfettered access to customer data or video, as we have repeatedly made clear to our customers and others”.
“The law authorises companies like Ring to provide information to government entities if the company believes that an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person, such as a kidnapping or an attempted murder, requires disclosure without delay,” a spokesperson explained.
“Ring faithfully applies that legal standard.”
If you’re not keen on this, you can prevent it by switching on end-to-end encryption – if your device supports it.
Ring has full instructions on how to set it up here.
Bad internet connection
If your internet plays up or you’re having a connection issue specifically with your Ring, it’s worth getting it looked into.
This is because you could miss something important.
Maybe your device is too far from your router.
Ring has some advice here that could help.
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