Amazon offers advice to Ring users with angry neighbors

Ring video doorbells have helped many homeowners sleep better when they’re away from home, whether it’s on vacation or just commuting to the office. Should the motion sensors be detected, the Wi-Fi connection will immediately notify users that someone has entered their property.

In addition, should someone ring the doorbell, the built-in camera and audio device allow you to see and speak to someone at your door in real time, no matter where you are.

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However, Ring recently came under some scrutiny after neighbors of Ring users complained that the built-in video cameras were an invasion of their privacy and filmed them, even though they had no right to do so.

That’s why Amazon, the owner of Ring, advises its customers to check two specific settings to ensure the safety and privacy of not only residents, but also their neighbors.

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privacy zones

The first thing Amazon Call customers should strongly consider is setting privacy zones near their cameras. Privacy zones are areas that are in the field of view of the doorbell camera and which the user can then define as “forbidden”.

As a result, the Ring app doesn’t show anything in the privacy zones. If you have a Ring video doorbell and the company’s “Ring Protect Plan,” a premium service that offers 24/7 monitoring and allows you to review, store, and share all recorded video, it all comes in not recorded in privacy zones.

Two rectangular shaped privacy zones can be added per device. Amazon describes setting up privacy zones as putting small pieces of tape over the lens. While cameras in privacy zones don’t capture anything, motion detectors still detect everything in the zones and notify Ring users accordingly.

To set up a privacy zone:

  • Open the Ring app
  • Tap Menu
  • Tap Devices
  • Choose which device
  • Tap Device Settings
  • Tap Privacy Settings
  • Then set your zones

Neighbors’ doors and windows, where they could easily be seen and detected without realizing it, are areas Amazon recommends primarily for privacy zones.

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Disable recording

While this sounds like it completely defeats the purpose of owning a Ring Doorbell, let’s be clear that Amazon’s recommendation isn’t to disable the camera, just any recordings it might be taking.

This means you can still receive real-time audio and video. As for footage, you can’t play footage. That means no possible chance of catching your neighbors in a vulnerable or compromising position.

How to disable recording

  • Open the Ring app
  • Tap Menu
  • Tap Devices
  • Choose which device
  • Tap Device Settings
  • Tap Privacy Settings
  • Turn off the recording function
Here's what you need to know about Ring Doorbells and your privacy.

Here’s what you need to know about Ring Doorbells and your privacy.
(Stephen Brashear via Getty Images, file)

Protect your privacy, not just that of your neighbors

As is the case with any software, storing your information in the Ring app can leave you vulnerable to hackers. It is all the more important to pay attention to your privacy now.

To review your privacy settings

  • Launch the Ring app
  • Tap the 3-line menu in the top left
  • Click Control Center

When you are in the control center, you should check these three areas.

  • Account Verification: Switch to text instead of email.
  • Authorized Client Devices: Check this list to make sure all of these devices belong to you or someone you have authorized as a shared user.
  • Common Users: Check each listed person. to ensure you only see who you have given access to.

With a frequent wave of front porch pirates stealing packages from patios and front doors, people have never been happier to have a video camera on their front door. As long as you make your privacy and that of your neighbors a priority, Ring is just what you need to put your mind to rest a little easier this holiday season.

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