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Rubio Urges Investigation Into Dangerous Chinese Video Doorbells

Mar 8, 2024 | Press Releases

Major retailers are selling dangerous and potentially illegal video doorbells from Eken, a Chinese company. Eken does not appropriately encrypt video and sound data transmitted from the doorbell, exposing Americans to hackers and criminals. Furthermore, Eken’s products lack an ID from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which suggests the devices may be illegal to import, market, and sell. 

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel asking the FCC to investigate the matter and hold retailers accountable. 

  • “Eken devices are not only unsafe—they may be illegal…. I urge you to investigate these serious allegations against Eken and, if necessary, to hold retailers accountable for selling its dangerous and potentially unauthorized products.”

The full text of the letter is below. 

Dear Chair Rosenworcel:

I write with regard to the sale of video doorbells manufactured by the Chinese company, Eken Group Ltd. Major retailers, including Temu, SHEIN, Amazon, Walmart, and Sears, sell Eken’s devices despite reports of serious security vulnerabilities. These devices lack the required visible identification (ID) number mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The inadequate security of these products enables hackers to violate users’ privacy by accessing videos and images of their homes. As the primary regulatory body for telecommunications, I urge you to investigate these reports and, if necessary, hold retailers accountable for selling potentially illegal products that jeopardize the privacy and security of Americans. 

Eken is a Shenzhen-based manufacturer in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It produces inexpensive electronic devices typical of the “fast technology” trend common among PRC firms. These devices often sacrifice essential security protocols for cost advantage, a fact recently proven by testing engineers who successfully hacked an Eken video doorbell remotely.  Consumers use the Aiwit app, owned by Eken, to access the video feeds from their doorbells. However, Eken fails to encrypt any data transmitted from the doorbell to the app via the internet. This appalling security flaw exposes users’ home internet protocol (IP) addresses and WiFi network names. Criminals, stalkers, and even foreign intelligence operatives can easily exploit this vulnerability to monitor the comings and goings of individuals from a home.

Eken devices are not only unsafe—they may be illegal. The devices lack FCC ID, which means they may interfere with other electronic devices and exceed safe radio-frequency standards for human health.An FCC ID is required for almost all radio frequency devices prior to their import, marketing, or use in the United States. It seems likely, then, that Eken’s video doorbells are the latest in a long line of Chinese products that are dumped on our shores with no regard for our laws or the safety of our people.

Unfortunately, these facts have not stopped major retailers from carrying Eken’s products. It is unsurprising that Temu, a serial Chinese trade abuser, carries Eken’s products. However, Chinese companies are not the only ones pushing Eken’s products. Amazon has endorsed them with the “Amazon’s Choice” and “Overall Pick” badges, thus misleading and endangering their customers. Simply being stocked by these retailers gives Chinese fast-technology companies the appearance of credibility. Americans deserve to shop securely with confidence that they are not purchasing illegal products that compromise their privacy. 

I urge you to investigate these serious allegations against Eken and, if necessary, to hold retailers accountable for selling its dangerous and potentially unauthorized products. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.