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Why it matters: Amazon has begun rolling out end-to-end (E2E) encryption to a handful of its Ring security cameras. Until now, video traveling from Ring servers to a user's receiving device like a smartphone or laptop was sent unencrypted. Theoretically, nothing was stopping a bad actor from intercepting and viewing those feeds until now.
On Wednesday, Ring announced that it launched end-to-end video encryption for some of its camera models. The press release calls the feature a "technical preview," which is just another way of saying it's in the beta phase. Ring is looking for feedback from the customers who preview it to improve it and iron out any bugs.
Currently, Ring videos are encrypted in-transit when going from the camera to the cloud and while they reside on the servers. However, video streamed from the servers to a device are sent decrypted. Ring has simply added an extra layer that encrypts the video all the way to the receiving end.
In September, Ring said it was planning to launch E2E encryption by the end of 2020. It missed that mark by about two weeks, and it seems evident that it will still be some months before it is fully implemented.
"As the feature rolls out over the coming months, customers can enable the feature from Control Center in the Ring App," the company said.
For now, the technical preview is very limited in scope. The feature does not work with battery or solar-powered Ring cameras at this time. It will only function with wired doorbells, the Floodlight, Spotlight, and its Stick Up Cams. Android 8 and iOS 12 (or later) is also a system requirement, as is the latest version of the Ring mobile app.
Those interested in enabling E2E encryption should head over to Ring's Help Center to check camera compatibility. The page also includes instructions on how to enable the feature.
Image credit: BrandonKleinPhoto