Eufy Security Cams
Review date: Nov. 8, 2021
Eufy makes both indoor and outdoor security cameras to keep an eye on your home, your pets, and your neighborhood. They offer the standard features--HD video, live streaming, two-way audio, night vision. You store your data locally on a microSD card and then live stream that to your phone in the Eufy app where they use high-end encryption to protect your video. For pet owners, the cameras use an AI that detects and sends a notification if you pet is present. These cameras even have a feature that lets you play a warning message to your pooch if he goes in the living room when he's not supposed to. Humans love it. Dogs, not so much.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Earlier this year, your intrepid *Privacy Not Included researcher decided she needed some indoor security cams to help keep an eye on her beloved kitty while on a trip for a couple of nights. Being a privacy researcher, the one feature she wanted in her security cams was that all video captured be stored locally, not in the less secure cloud. And so, she purchased Eufy’s security cams for that feature and because they do a good job, in general, protecting personal data. What’s her verdict so far? No regrets at all. These Eufy cams make spying on the kitty about as worry free as possible.
We really like that your security cam footage is stored locally, not in the much less secure cloud (there is a cloud option though). You can access your videos at any time through the Eufy app, and that footage is protected by strong encryption in transit and where it is stored. This is all very cool.
Eufy also doesn't sell your personal data, which is cool. Eufy does collect information on you and uses that informaiton to show you ads for them and third parties, which isn’t super cool but also isn't unsual. Eufy's AI provides human, pet, and crying detection of what your security cams see. One key value of Eufy's local storage is that all AI analyses are done locally, which ensures privacy and is usually much quicker than cloud-based analyses.
Unfortunately, Eufy isn’t perfect. In May 2021, Eufy was forced to apologize for a bug that exposed the camera feeds of 712 users to strangers. Eufy said the glitch happened during a software update and “users were able to access video feeds from other users’ cameras.” Eufy said in a statement the glitch was fixed an hour after it was discovered. This is pretty much the worst case scenario for security cam users. Fortunately, Eufy identified and fixed this privacy nightmare quickly. And so, this is a good time to remind folks that anything accessed on the internet isn’t ever 100% safe. Even the good companies screw up.
Tips to protect yourself
- Keep your camera firmwave up to date
- Protect your Wi-Fi router with a strong password
- Turn on the Two-step verification
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email address
Face images and underlying face prints (if you choose to enable imaging and biometric features).
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 May 2021, Eufy was forced to apologize for a bug that exposed the camera feeds of 712 users to strangers. Eufy said the glitch happened during a software update and “users were able to access video feeds from other users’ cameras.” Eufy said in a statement the glitch was fixed an hour after it was discovered.
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Structured and concise.
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
The built-in AI reduces the number of false alerts you receive by intelligently differentiating people from objects. It has features alike pet detection, and even crying detection.
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
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