Activating End-to-End Encryption for Your Ring Video Doorbell

At Ring, our commitment to security, protection, and empowering our clients with control is unwavering. The introduction of End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to fortify our platform. In an endeavor to provide a comprehensive technical overview of this feature, we are pleased to present this whitepaper.

E2EE is a groundbreaking addition to the mobile Ring application, residing within the Control Center, and compatible with Android and iOS devices. The Technical Preview of E2EE was launched in the United States on January 13, 2021. Today, we are delighted to announce the global rollout of End-to-End Video Encryption, signifying the successful conclusion of the Technical Preview of video End-to-End Encryption in the United States.

E2EE represents the latest advancement in our continuous pursuit of enhancing Ring’s security and privacy features. Our journey in this direction began in January 2020 with the introduction of Control Center, a user-friendly dashboard empowering clients to oversee crucial security and privacy configurations. In February 2020, Ring became an industry pioneer by making Two-Step Verification mandatory for all user logins, further bolstering account security.

Building on these foundations, in November 2020, we unveiled Compromised Password Checks. This innovative feature cross-references login credentials with a database of known compromised passwords from reputable third-party sources, providing users with timely notifications to change their passwords, thus ensuring an additional layer of security and privacy. These measures seamlessly integrate with Ring’s core functionality, delivering unparalleled peace of mind to our users.

Strengthening Security and Privacy with Ring’s Encryption and Defense-in-Depth Approach

From its inception, Ring has placed a strong emphasis on bolstering its security and privacy measures, aiming to continuously enhance its defense-in-depth capabilities. This approach includes several layers of protection, ranging from video encryption during transmission and storage in the cloud to the implementation of cryptographic protocols like TLS and SRTP. Additionally, Ring employs advanced security measures, such as mandatory Two-Step Verification and user-controlled video storage time limits. Encryption stands as a pivotal component of this comprehensive security strategy, with the introduction of End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) offering an even more robust security and privacy option for users.

Importance of E2EE

Ring’s E2EE is designed to ensure that only the receiving device, typically the user’s smartphone, can decrypt the encrypted video content transmitted from the sending device, such as a Ring camera. This is accomplished through three key principles:

  1. User Control: E2EE grants users complete control over their data’s encryption and decryption.

  2. Secure Encryption and Decryption: All encryption and decryption processes are carried out securely on the user’s registered Ring and mobile devices.

  3. Protection Against Unauthorized Access: E2EE safeguards user video content, ensuring unauthorized third parties cannot access it.

However, this enhanced security and privacy option necessitates certain trade-offs, which can affect features like Motion Verification and People-Only Mode. These trade-offs are made to accommodate users’ diverse security and privacy requirements.

Why E2EE is Needed

The effectiveness of E2EE hinges on the security of two critical user controls: securing the smartphone and keeping the E2EE passphrase confidential. Ring and the user share responsibility for protecting user video recordings. Ring secures its cloud services, infrastructure, and software services while also providing new security features like E2EE. Users, on the other hand, secure their smartphones by following best practices, such as device locking.

The additional layers of security that users manage can vary based on the features they select. Users can choose to rely on Ring’s default security controls and features or opt for E2EE, giving them more control over their data security and privacy.

How E2EE Technology Works

Ring’s E2EE technology utilizes various cryptographic methods to maintain security and performance. The process can be divided into three key aspects:

  1. Registering a User’s Device: When a user registers a compatible Ring device, the setup workflow is initiated, with step-by-step instructions provided in the Ring application.

  2. Creating a Direct Wi-Fi Channel: A direct Wi-Fi channel is established between the Ring device and the user’s registered smartphone, creating a local connection for secure key exchange.

  3. Secure Key Exchange and Encryption: The Ring device generates an asymmetric key pair and sends a certificate request to the user’s smartphone. This request is signed using the registered device’s key, and the public part of this key is sent to the Ring device. This certificate exchange process allows the Ring device to verify the public keys for encryption and decryption.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) for Ring Video Doorbell?

End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) is a security feature that ensures only the intended recipient, typically your smartphone, can access and decrypt video content from your Ring Video Doorbell. It provides an additional layer of privacy and security.

How can I activate E2EE for my Ring Video Doorbell?

To activate E2EE, follow the instructions provided in the Ring app. It typically involves setting up a direct local Wi-Fi connection between your Ring device and your smartphone and exchanging cryptographic keys.

What are the benefits of E2EE for my Ring Video Doorbell?

E2EE enhances the security and privacy of your video footage by preventing unauthorized access. It ensures that your videos can only be decrypted and viewed on your registered smartphone.

Are there any trade-offs with E2EE?

Yes, enabling E2EE may impact certain features like Motion Verification and People-Only Mode. These trade-offs are necessary to provide the highest level of data security.

Can I choose when to enable or disable E2EE?

Yes, you have control over when to enable or disable E2EE. You can toggle this feature in the Ring app to meet your individual privacy and security requirements.

What do I need to ensure my E2EE remains secure?

It’s essential to secure your smartphone by implementing best practices such as device locking. Additionally, keep your E2EE passphrase confidential and do not share it with others.

Can I still access my videos if E2EE is disabled?

Yes, if you disable E2EE, you can still access your videos using Ring’s default security measures and features. However, videos encrypted with E2EE will remain encrypted.

Is E2EE a one-time setup, or do I need to repeat it for each Ring device?

You’ll need to perform the E2EE setup for each compatible Ring device you want to protect with this enhanced security and privacy feature.

How does E2EE impact third-party access to my video content?

E2EE is designed to prevent unauthorized third-party access to your video content, ensuring that only your registered devices can decrypt and view it.

Is Ring planning to improve E2EE further in the future?

Ring is committed to ongoing improvement efforts. We continually strive to enhance our security and privacy features, taking user feedback into account to prioritize the protection of your data. Stay tuned for future updates.

Conclusion

End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) offers Ring users enhanced security and privacy options while ensuring that only their registered smartphones can access and decrypt video content from compatible Ring devices. Whether a user enables E2EE or not, videos encrypted while E2EE is active will remain secure. Ring continues to focus on improving its security and privacy measures, listening to user feedback, and developing solutions that prioritize the protection of user data.

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