Blink Security Cameras
Review date: Nov. 8, 2020
Amazon's other line of security cameras, they also own Ring, are these indoor and outdoor Blink security cams. They tend to be cheaper than Ring cameras, they offer local storage (yay!), come in a mini-cam, an indoor cam, an outdoor cam, and a floodlight cam, and feature all the usual: HD video, two-way audio, motion detection and night vision. It's Amazon, so of course these work with Alexa. You can keep on eye on everything with the Blink Home Monitor app on your phone. As they say on their website, "Blink and you're home," which, honestly, I have no idea what that means.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Blink was acquired by Amazon in December, 2017. Amazon's other security camera maker, Ring, has had a plethora of privacy and security issues they've had to deal with over the past couple years. Blink is not Ring. Blink cameras don't easily work on the Ring Neighbors app that has raised concerns for us around public safety and racism. You can manually upload a Blink video to the Neighbors app, but you can do that with any video. And these Blink cameras have a local storage option that means you aren’t required to store your video in the Cloud to access it, which is a much better privacy option.
Blink cameras have had a few reported security vulnerabilities, often found by security researchers and fixed quickly with firmware updates, which is how it should be (and a good reminder to keep your device’s firmware up-to-date!). It’s still concerning when security vulnerabilities like the ones found in Blink could allow bad guys to hijack your camera. This is always a concern with any security camera though.
Blink says they “are not in the business of selling our customers’ personal information to others,” which is good. However, they are an Amazon company, so expect that Amazon will try and sell you lots of stuff based on the personal information Blink does collect on you. All in all, these Blink security cameras don't worry us too much as far as security cameras go. Still, they’re cameras inside your house, so it's good to turn them off when you are home if you can.
Tips to protect yourself
- Turn your the cameras inside your home off when you are there.
- Store video locally as much as possible rather than in the Cloud.
- Set up two-factor authentication on your account.
- Manage your Alexa privacy settings
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number, address
Video and voice recordings
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In December 2019, Amazon fixed a security flaw that would allow hackers to hijack the Blink camera.
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Blink requires 2-step verification for all logins to the user’s account by receiving a text message containing the OTP which is entered by the user in-app to authenticate.
For Blink, security researchers can report a vulnerability by emailing [email protected].
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