Blink Security Cameras

Blink Security Cameras

Amazon
Wi-Fi

Review date: Nov. 8, 2020

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Somewhat creepy

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
mobile Privacy warning Security A.I.

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?

Blink (an Amazon company) does not sell customer information.

Blink Recordings are streamed to the cloud. You give Blink all permissions they need to use your Blink Recordings to do so. These permissions include, for example, the rights to copy your Blink Recordings, modify your Blink Recordings to generate clips, use information about your Blink Recordings to organize them on your behalf, and review your Blink Recordings to provide technical support.

How can you control your data?

Blink's privacy statement is not clear regarding deletion rights and retention details for data. It says that some groups of people are not able to request access to or deletion of data. They also send you through customer service bureaucracy to check your deletion rights.

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

Average

In December 2019, Amazon fixed a security flaw that would allow hackers to hijack the Blink camera.

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

Yes

A separate privacy policy is provided

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Strong password

Yes

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.

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

For Blink, security researchers can report a vulnerability by emailing [email protected].

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Can’t Determine

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

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

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Can’t Determine

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine

*privacy not included

Dive Deeper

  • Student finds privacy flaws in connected security and doorbell cameras
    Tech Explore
  • Can Blink Cameras Be Hacked?
    Smart Home Starter
  • Blink's XT2 security camera can be hacked: What to do now
    Tom's Guide
  • Why does Blink still exist?
    The Verge
  • Amazon issues fix after some Blink home cameras found vulnerable to hacking
    Reuters
  • ‘Millions of people’s data is at risk’ — Amazon insiders sound alarm over security
    Politico
  • Amazon issues fix after some Blink home cameras found vulnerable to hacking
    Reuters

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