A Question Of Trust
Mac Life|April 2020
Data privacy issues in security apps and other unlikely places
Alex Summersby

Your ring smart doorbell, wireless carrier, and even Mac antivirus software could all be sending personal information about you to strangers.

Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that the Android app for controlling the smart doorbells by Ring, which Amazon acquired in 2018, is packed with trackers that harvest personal identifying information and send it to five third-party analytics companies.

TRACKING YOUR ACTIVITY

Only one of the five, MixPanel, is mentioned in Ring’s privacy notice, but data it receives includes users’ full names, email addresses, device info, and app settings. Facebook, via its Graph API, is notified when users open the Ring app and when they perform certain device actions. It receives a unique identifier, device model, and more. Branch and AppsFlyer receive unique identifiers plus various snippets of information. The Ring app also sends data to the Google-owned Crashalytics service, but the EFF says the amount of data involved is “yet to be determined.”

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