The internet of things is the idea that because we have the internet, we can connect our lives and everything we use it to create a single unified experience for everything. With the idea that we can connect multiple devices together, comes the risk that someone might abuse this to gain benefits at the expense of others. Sometimes the problem is a genuine one, a bug found in the software of a product such as the Ring Doorbell Pro which left users watching someone else’s front door instead of their own.
The Ring Doorbell Pro was meant to be used as part of a smart system, allowing you to watch a live stream of whoever is at your front door, don’t want to open to that sales person? Not a problem, Expecting a delivery? Make sure they’ve arrived on time. It would be useful when it works, but what happens if you start viewing someone’s house from an entirely different state?
Security wise, accidentally watching someone else’s front door isn’t the biggest problem in the world. Given that it may take you several moments to realise you are watching someone else’s front door, sometimes technology can’t replace just sneaking a look through the window. Ring claims that of the million of “calls” made using their smart doorbell, only 10 have experienced this problem and all thanks to two databases being used to store a customer’s number. In their explanation, Ring explains that:
“We use random numbers to generate a call ID from Ring products. We did a very robust Beta test of the new Ring Video Doorbell Pro on experimental software, and when we moved it out of Beta for the commercial launch, some customers’ numbers were in two different databases. As a result, those call ID numbers were overwritten. We believe, based on all the data we have analyzed, that this caused less than ten instances – out of more than 4 million calls per day and over 84 million calls in total – where video recordings overlapped for Ring Video Doorbell Pro users only. We are in the process of merging those databases so this will no longer occur. This issue only effected Ring Video Doorbell Pro users, not users of our other products, Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Stick Up Cam.”