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Apple expands HomeKit to support security cameras

Footage will be encrypted before reaching the cloud

outdoor security camera Shutterstock

The irony of home security cameras is that while they might protect you from intruders, they put you at risk of online intrusions. Yesterday at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the tech giant announced it’s expanding its HomeKit smart home platform to cover security cameras—and taking measures to ensure the security footage is secure.

During his segment, Apple’s senior VP of software engineering Craig Federighi explained why the update is so needed. “Unfortunately, most home cameras today send people’s video up to cloud so it can be analyzed to tell the difference between maybe a leaf blowing in the wind or someone at your door,” he said. “Unfortunately, this risks your privacy.”

By contrast, Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video analyzes the content of security footage captured by in-home cameras on local devices including an iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV, and then sends the encrypted video to your personal iCloud where, in Federighi words, “Not even Apple can see it.” Phew.

Storage for 10 days of video will be free in iCloud, which means you won’t have to shell out extra for the pleasure of keeping yourself safe unless you want to keep backlogged video on hand. Apple is launching the service first with Netatmo, Logitech, and Eufy systems, though it has plans to expand camera compatibility soon.