Ring end-to-end encryption now publicly available; new security features added

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Ring end-to-end encryption

Following a technical preview launch of end-to-end encryption in the United States earlier this year, Ring has announced that the full rollout of the feature kicks off today. Not only is it being taken out of technical preview, but it will also make its way across the globe, thanks to the company’s decision to make this an international feature. The feature ensures that only approved devices can watch videos, which prevents any unauthorized party (including Amazon or Ring) from being able to do so. Continue reading to learn more.

Ring end-to-end encryption rolls out internationally

End-to-end encryption capabilities for the Amazon-owned Ring lineup are finally being made available to all customers after spending the first half of this year as a technical preview. Since Ring already encrypts videos that are uploaded and stored in the cloud, it may be unclear to some what the new end-to-end feature is actually for.

Simply put, it only allows authorized devices to view video captured by Ring devices. Think of each authorized device as a key that can unlock content, and you will be in complete control of who has one. Without this feature, Amazon or Ring could technically view video footage since devices do not need to be authorized.

A couple of bonus security features are also rolling out. First, customers will now be able to use an authenticator app as a second method of verification. New CAPTCHA requirements will also show up in the Ring and Neighbors apps. Last on the list is a new self-service ability to “securely and conveniently transfer ownership of used Ring devices.” Prior to this, customers needed to get ahold of a customer service representative at Ring.

Eligible devices

While a long list of devices made the list for end-to-end encryption support, several are missing. Below, you will find an official list of supported devices, which is pulled directly from the Ring Support Center.

Unsure which models are missing from the list? This quote from the company’s support page draws a pretty clear line: “Ring battery-powered video doorbells and cameras do not support E2EE.”

9to5Toys’ Take

While Ring end-to-end encryption is a win for privacy, a few caveats will make this release disappointing for some. First and foremost, the fact that battery-powered devices have not made the cut will arguably leave a large chunk of Ring users out in the cold. I find myself in this boat since I have been using a Ring Video Doorbell 2 user for a couple of years now.

The other letdown is that users will need to opt in to the new end-to-end encryption features. This means there is a good chance that fewer technical users will be unlikely to ever toggle this feature on. It’s worth noting that Ring may choose to highlight this feature within the app to encourage wider adoption across the board.

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