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Amazon Ring sales nearly tripled in December despite hacks

It’s going to take more than a few high-profile video hacking incidents to slow connected security camera sales.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

The security company Ring’s online sales in the US grew 180 percent in December compared with a year earlier, according to new data from Jumpshot, a data analytics firm that tracks URL data from a sample of tens of millions of people. These sales have continued unabated despite growing concerns about privacy risk implications and high-profile reports of disturbing hacks.

Jumpshot estimates the Amazon-owned company sold nearly 400,000 Ring security devices, including its video cameras and doorbells, in December, making it the single biggest month for sales to date.

Ring hasn’t released any sales numbers of its own and declined to comment for this article, but has said it has “millions” of customers.

Jumpshot’s data suggests that reports of Ring hacks in early December, which led consumer groups to issue a product warning and which prompted two class action lawsuits, have not hurt sales. Ring has also been criticized and boycotted for its partnerships with police departments. The company also continues to dabble in controversial facial recognition tech but so far it remains a “contemplated but unreleased feature.”

The data includes sales of Ring products on and through websites of other retailers like Costco, BestBuy, and Home Depot. While the data would count a single transaction of a Ring doorbell and Ring camera as two separate sales, it doesn’t differentiate when people bought multiples of the same kind of device at once, so the real number of devices sold may be higher.

December’s sales were even higher than July’s, when the devices were highly discounted and prominently featured during Prime Day, Amazon’s annual sales event. The 280,000 sales Jumpshot saw in July represented 275 percent growth compared with a year earlier. At the time, Amazon noted that Amazon’s Ring doorbell was a bestseller among Amazon devices and electronics overall, on what has historically been the company’s biggest sales day.

In general, smart security devices are some of the fastest-growing smart home products, according to market research firm IDC. They estimate about 200 million such devices will ship worldwide this year, 27 percent growth compared with a year earlier.

So far, privacy and safety qualms over such devices have yet to dent their growing popularity with American consumers.