PRIVACY: Retailers including Amazon and Walmart are selling unsafe knockoff video doorbells, report finds.

Eken and Tuck are not well-known brands in the video doorbell market, yet they are relatively strong sellers online. The doorbells appeared in multiple listings on Amazon, with more than 4,200 sold in January alone. Both brands are often touted as “Amazon’s Choice: Overall Pick,” CR stated.

“These video doorbells from little known manufacturers have serious security and privacy vulnerabilities, and now they’ve found their way onto major digital marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart,” stated Justin Brookman, director of tech policy at Consumer Reports. “Both the manufacturers and platforms that sell the doorbells have a responsibility to ensure that these products are not putting consumers in harm’s way.”

The troubles uncovered by CR researchers include:

Exposure of a user’s home IP addresses and WiFi network names to the internet without encryption, potentially opening a user’s home network to malicious activity.

Ability of potential bad actors to take over the device by downloading the Aiwit smartphone app and entering the doorbell into pairing mode, allowing them to take ownership of the device, view camera footage and lock out the owner of the device.

Remote access to still images from the video feed and other information without authentication, by acquiring the serial number of the doorbell.

Lack of a registration code that must be visible on this class of product, under Federal Communications Commission regulations.

New rules are needed to hold online retailers accountable for vetting sellers and the product sold by their platforms, according to CR. It called on the Federal Trade Commission to stop the online sales of the doorbell cameras and on retailers to do more to ensure the quality of the products they sell.

I doubt if regulators can be trusted to protect our privacy but the real concern is how little concern consumers have for their own privacy. They’ll put up a lot of abuse just to get something cheaper.