Ring Camera exposes Big (Bad) Parenting


“It’s Santa”, said the unknown voice. But who had let him in, and above all: WHY?

Ring Camera exposes Big (Bad) Parenting /img/ringcamera.jpg

Some days ago, a mother of three young daughters saw a friend of hers watch her own kids on her phone, and “actually speak to them”, through an Amazon Ring camera installed in the kids’room.

“That’s really neat,” concluded that mother, and so she bought the same camera, and installed it in the bedroom of their three young daughters, as “a way to keep an eye on her three daughters and seem close by while working her overnight shift”.

Ho, ho,ho!

Four days after the installation of that Ring camera, the 8-year-old daughter “heard something strange coming from her room”. When the child asked who was there, the stranger who had remotely cracked the camera,and likely watched the children for days, answered “It’s Santa. It’s your best friend.”

What is the real news here? Not “hackers” for sure!

The reason why it only took four days for some stranger to get access to that camera is explained here, and boils down to parents not configuring that camera in the safest possible way. But that is a non-issue, as far as I am concerned.

The real news here is not “hackers” breaking into Ring cameras. The real, and bad news here is parents installing always-on cameras, just to be able to “keep an eye on their own children” non-stop, from wherever they are. The real bad news here is, as @nomadiclucie said on Twitter “normalization of the continuous surveillance of children. This scenario should not exist”.

Big Parent? No. Please no

Of course, cameras can have a place in bedrooms, to gather evidence in case of theft or other accidents. No question about that. But that is non-real time video, that is not accessible from the Internet and is only watched, to collect evidence if and after something bad actually happened.

That is an entirely different thing from making kids grow up with the awareness that Big Parent is always behind the telescreen.

Ring Camera exposes Big (Bad) Parenting /img/1984-telescreen.jpg

Continuous, real care must NEVER become non-stop surveillance!

As far as I am concerned, I am happy that that “camera cracker” exposed how dystopic, and stupidly misguided parenting can become, in this digital age. “Smart” cameras for keeping an eye on kids are on the same shelf as “bad parenting in high-tech cruises”, but much worst.

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