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Amazon’s Ring will let users opt out of sharing data with other companies

Amazon’s Ring will let users opt out of sharing data with other companies
[Photo: Ulvi Safari/Unsplash]

Amazon’s doorbell camera maker, Ring, says it will let users limit how much data they share with third-party trackers after the Electronic Frontier Foundation discovered that Ring’s Android app was sending information to Facebook and others.

The EFF identified four analytics firms receiving data from Ring: branch.io, mixpanel.com, appsflyer.com, and facebook.com. The data Ring was sending included “names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers,” and the EFF says these bits of information can form a unique fingerprint that tracks users’ behavior across other apps and services.

Now, Ring tells CBS News that users will be able to opt out of this data collection “where applicable.” It’s unclear exactly what that means or where users will access this option, but Ring plans to announce more details soon. Ring has previously said that the data it sends to analytics firms is “contractually limited to appropriate purposes” such as helping Ring improve features and evaluate its marketing.

This isn’t the only controversy Ring has responded to lately. Last month, the company launched a Control Center feature that lets users manage security settings and opt out of all police requests for footage, and it now requires two-factor authentication for new devices to protect against hacking.

Earlier this week, Ring announced a new feature in its Neighbors community watch app to let users report acts of kindness, perhaps to fend off perceptions of profiling and paranoia. These responses don’t address all of the broader societal concerns with Ring’s doorbell cameras and police partnerships, but they may tamp down some consumer backlash.

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