Arlo Video Doorbell

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Arlo Video Doorbell

Arlo
Wi-Fi Bluetooth

Review date: Nov. 1, 2023

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Somewhat creepy

If you're one of those people who run and hide in the closet when a stranger knocks on your door, these video doorbells from Arlo (or any video doorbell, really) are for you! Check the HD video with night vision and 180 degree viewing angle to see if there's a crazy guy with a hatchet at your front door. If there is, use the two-way audio to let him know you've called the cops. Get a phone alert when the motion sensor trips as he creeps around again. Then blast the built-in siren on the doorbell from your phone to scare hatchet guy away for good. Just one real-world scenario of how things could go down if you own the Arlo Video Doorbell. So, how is Arlo at privacy? Well, we're sad to say, they're just not as good as they used to be.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Oh Arlo, you do some things so well...and yet, these days we're growing concerned about your privacy practices. Indeed, Arlo used to be one of our favorite security camera companies. They have slipped a little recently...enough to worry us. But, they still do some things we really like to see.

First, the good stuff. We first fell in love with Arlo back on International Privacy Day in 2019 when they proudly proclaimed they will not share or sell or monetize their users' data in any way. It was a bit of a dig at Amazon’s Ring--who was in the midst of dealing with a number of public privacy concerns. We'll take some trolling of Ring to get great user privacy protections from Arlo. Arlo also has a very nice page where they lay out clearly how, when, and why they will share data with law enforcement and governments. This is super nice to see because companies like Amazon Ring have such a close relationship with law enforcement and sharing of video it leaves us very concerned. Arlo does much better, clearly stating they will only share your video and personal information with law enforcement through a valid legal process and even then they say they will limit what they share as much as possible. This is what we like to see! Good work Arlo.

Arlo also used to include a 10% of discount code hidden in their privacy policy for people who took the time to read it. We're very sad to see that has disappeared. We're also sad to see that Arlo says they collect information about you from third parties – from public sources as well as marketing and research and service providers. And that they can use all the information they gather about you and combine it and the create inferences about your preferences, behavior, and attitude. Here at *Privacy Not Included we really hate these "inferences" companies create on us with all the data they gather. They feel icky and creepy and we just don't see a need for them. Do better Arlo!

Arlo’s privacy policy clearly lays out all the data they collect about you and what they do with it. We appreciate the clarity. Just beware, they do say they can collect some pretty personal information on you like sex, gender expression, or age if you chose to share it as part of your emergency response profile. This is probably OK, just remember, once you share this information, it's out there and you have to trust that it won't ever be hacked or leaked or shared in a way you might not want.

Arlo also says they don't share your personal information with third parties for those third parties to use for their own marketing purposes. This is good. But they do say they can share some of your personal information -- things such as "identifiers such .. IP address and internet/electronic network activity such as website pages visited with advertisers and advertising networks, data analytics providers and social networks" -- with third parties through their use of cookies and tracking technologies. Under certain U.S. state laws, as Arlo says, “these activities may be considered ‘sharing’ or ‘selling.’” Arlo’s pledge not to monetize your data came before California’s privacy law CCPA came into force with its stricter definition of what that actually means. Good news: You can opt out.

One last thing we should highlight while we’re getting into the nitty-gritty (hey, that’s what we do) is that Arlo can share aggregated and non-personal information “without restriction.” And we have to tell you that privacy researchers warn it has been shown to be pretty easy to re-identify some so-called anonymous data sets. Hopefully Arlo's aggregated and non-personal information doesn't end up being data that can be re-identified.

What's the bottom line with Arlo? Well, we're sad to say they just aren't as good as they used to be -- which seems to be a common theme with so many of the products we review these days. That's a bummer. However, they are still better than some other security camera companies we review like Amazon Ring and Wyze. What's the worst that could happen with your Arlo security camera? Well, we'd hate for them to gather a bunch of data on you and infer that your attitude is ripe for fear and use that to try and sell you a bunch more cameras and video monitoring services that you might not need or be able to afford. That might not be the worst thing that could happen, but we really hate the "inferences" these companies say they can make on us based on their black box algorithms. They give us a bad attitude for sure!

Tips to protect yourself

  • Use the SD card in case of unstable Internet connection
  • Consider using a privacy shield on your Arlo camera
  • Do not sign up with third-party accounts. Better just log in with email and strong password.
  • Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
  • Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless necessary)
  • Keep your app regularly updated
  • Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
  • Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data.
  • When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
  • mobile

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: Yes

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: Yes

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: Yes

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

We ding this product for combining users' data with data obtained from third parties for marketing purposes, including to create inferences on users' preferences, behavior, and attitudes, and sharing some personal information with third-party advertisers.

Privacy Notice

"We disclose and share Information with advertising and analytics providers, including third parties. We use several modern marketing tools in support of our advertising efforts. Arlo may work with first-party and third-party advertisers and analytics providers that use cookies and similar technologies to provide more relevant advertising about Arlo Products and Services on our websites and across the internet. We also use tools to help us measure the effectiveness of our advertising efforts."

"We may make inferences drawn from any of the Information collected. We may use Information from the categories described above to create a profile about you to personalize your experience by reflecting your preferences, behavior, and attitude."

"We may disclose Information to the extent necessary to comply with the relevant laws or to protect our company and users. We may disclose Information to respond to a court order, legal request, or subpoena, including to law enforcement in response to a legally enforceable search warrant as described in our law enforcement guidelines here. We may also disclose Information in response to valid government or regulatory demands and requests. We may also disclose Information when we investigate potential fraud, abuse, or other similar violations of Arlo Terms. We may also disclose Information to protect the rights, property, or safety of our business, our employees, our customers, or others."

"We may disclose aggregated Information that does not identify any individual, without restriction. We may share non-personal Information without restriction".

"We use limited video Information for device set up and use to provide Services.We use artificial intelligence to process certain video Information from your cameras so that we can monitor your environment, send you alerts, and allow you to further configure your Services. For example, you may configure your Services to send an alert to you based on the type of activity that has been detected. Depending on your subscription plan, configuration and settings, we store the videos you capture for various time periods."

"We use some Information for marketing purposes.We use your Information to share updates about new products and special offers, including promotions, surveys, and contests. These updates may include information about Arlo’s new features and Services or information about select third-party offers or products we think you might find interesting, but we will not send your Information to these third-parties to use for their own marketing purposes. We’ll give you these updates and information through email, on our apps, or on social media platforms."

"We get Information about you from third parties or other sources. Third party products or apps may also share Information about you. For example, usage data from your integrated products may be provided to us. We may get sensory and motion data from your mobile device. We may also collect Information about you from other users, including your name, phone number, or email address. Arlo users may also provide names and images to associate with friends and family and other household members. If you provide Information about another person, it is your responsibility to ensure you have that party’s permission. Arlo also utilizes service providers to assist with marketing and research initiatives and may obtain Information about you from those providers. We may also obtain Information about you from governmental or public sources."

"We combine Information.Our Services provide integrated security solutions, which means we may combine Information that we have collected directly from you, from across your devices, products, or Services, or that is received from a third party. If we combine or connect non-personal information with personal Information so that it directly or indirectly identifies an individual or so that we may draw inferences about an individual, we treat the combined Information as personal Information and, when applicable, sensitive personal Information."

"We disclose and share Information with advertising and analytics providers, including third parties. We use several modern marketing tools in support of our advertising efforts. Arlo may work with first-party and third-party advertisers and analytics providers that use cookies and similar technologies to provide more relevant advertising about Arlo Products and Services on our websites and across the internet. We also use tools to help us measure the effectiveness of our advertising efforts. To learn more, please click here. To opt out, set your preferences by clicking on the Your Privacy Choices link in the footer of your browser."

"We may disclose Information to the extent necessary to comply with the relevant laws or to protect our company and users. We may disclose Information to respond to a court order, legal request, or subpoena, including to law enforcement in response to a legally enforceable search warrant as described in our law enforcement guidelines here. We may also disclose Information in response to valid government or regulatory demands and requests."

Arlo Law Enforcement Guidelines
"Arlo subscriber information will not be released absent valid legal process."

"Arlo requires valid and sufficient legal process before it will disclose subscriber information. "

"... all warrants must meet the probable cause requirement found in the Fourth Amendment, generally meaning that there is a reasonable basis for believing that evidence of a crime is present on Arlo’s servers. Arlo also reviews legal process to ensure facial validity under applicable laws and regulations, such as the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2701, et seq., and the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Cal. Penal Code § 1546, et seq. All legal process and requests for subscriber information must:
be narrowly tailored,
specifically identify the account at issue, and
specifically identify the information sought.
Arlo cannot respond to vague, invalid, or informal requests. Arlo also reviews all legal process and requests to ensure they are not objectionable for other reasons, such as requests that seek confidential, proprietary information, or privileged information."

"Arlo reserves its right to provide notice of legal process seeking a subscriber’s information to that subscriber unless: (a) Arlo is prohibited from doing so by statute or court order; (b) there is an emergency situation where time is of the essence; (c) notice could be detrimental to Arlo or Arlo subscribers; and/or (d) where Arlo does not have the subscriber contact information. "

How can you control your data?

We cannot confirm if all users, regardless of location, can get their data deleted.

Privacy Notice

"In some places laws grant residents certain privacy rights related to their personal Information."

"Right to Delete. You have the right to request that we delete any of your personal Information that you have provided or that we have collected and processed about you, subject to certain exceptions. Once we receive your request and confirm your identity, we will review your request to see if an exception requiring us to retain the Information applies. We will delete or deidentify personal Information not subject to one of these exceptions from our records to take similar action. You may delete most Information through your account settings by logging in here or though the mobile application."

"Right to Opt-In or Opt-Out of Sharing / Sale / Right to Object. Arlo gives consumers the right to request to opt out of the processing of the personal data for purposes of (i) targeted or cross-contextual behavioral advertising, (ii) the sale of personal data, or (iii) profiling in furtherance of decisions that produce legal or similarly significant effects concerning the consumer."

"We do not exchange your Information for monetary consideration or share your Information with a third party to use for their own marketing purposes. We only engage in cross-contextual behavioral or targeted advertising through cookies and similar tracking technologies. Under certain U.S. state laws, these activities may be considered “sharing” or “selling.” We share, or have shared prior to the effective date of this Notice, identifiers such as a device ID, cookie ID, or IP address and internet/electronic network activity such as website pages visited with advertisers and advertising networks, data analytics providers and social networks through these technologies. To opt-out of this processing, we will rely on you to set your preferences regarding cookies and other tracking technologies. To do this, click on the Your Privacy Choices link in the footer of your browser."

"We retain Information as long as your account is active, for the period necessary or relevant for the practices described in this Notice, and as otherwise required by law."

Privacy Pledge

"Create an Arlo account with minimal information and control additional data you share based on services selected. Videos and data are stored in the cloud per your chosen plan’s duration unless you manually delete them."

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Average

No known incidents in the last 3 years.

Child Privacy Information

Privacy Notice
"Arlo does not direct our Services to children, and we do not knowingly collect Information from children. If you are a parent or legal guardian and think your child has given us Information, you can write to us or email us at the addresses provided at the end of this Notice. Please mark your inquiries “Parental Information Request.” If we learn we have mistakenly or unintentionally collected or received Information from a child without appropriate consent, we will delete such Information."

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

Yes

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Strong password

Yes

2-step verification is required.

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Arlo has a bug bounty program, which means that anyone who finds a security issue and discloses it responsibly may get paid.

"Independent security researchers test Arlo products and services in an established program."

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Arlo security cameras alert you when important motion is detected and filter out everyday movement. With the Arlo Person Detection feature, you receive real-time alerts when people approach your home.

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Can’t Determine

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Yes

*privacy not included

Dive Deeper

  • Arlo Video Doorbell Privacy Report
    Security.org Link opens in a new tab
  • The Best Smart Doorbell Camera
    New York Times Link opens in a new tab
  • Can Arlo Cameras Be Hacked? (And How to Prevent It)
    Smart Home Starter Link opens in a new tab
  • Arlo Unveils AI-Powered Service Plans, Complete With New One-Touch Emergency Response And Coverage For Unlimited Devices
    Cision Link opens in a new tab
  • The Best Outdoor Security Camera
    Wirecutter Link opens in a new tab
  • What are the Arlo Smart advanced object detection features?
    Arlo Link opens in a new tab
  • Arlo Unveils AI-Powered Service Plans, Complete With New One-Touch Emergency Response And Coverage For Unlimited Devices
    Cision Link opens in a new tab

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