Multiple users - can they all see each other?

Several questions…
When I add other users, can all those added users see the other added users (and by default, their email address)?

I understand I could use “Action Tiles” to control levels of access but tried that and when I go to connect to the SmartThings app it doesn’t “see” my Location, it’s not in the drop down box (which is empty) to authorise, and thus I can’t even begin using those. I thought it was a log-in/password kind of conflict, but tried all kinds of combinations and can’t do it.

I really need to give my 12 y.o. son access to my door, etc., but his dad has stalked me, threatened my partner etc. As long as he is a user and can “see” the significant other’s email address, this is a problem. His dad could access that info from my son’s phone. He could track me too. Smart Things needs to fix this so you can have multiple levels of access within their own program and not be forced to use a third party. Otherwise their program provides absolutely no security. I’m already thinking of shipping the hub back to Amazon and finding one that will allow me to do this more easily. I’m not a developer, it shouldn’t be that hard for ST to do it, and I want something that does what I need it to do out of the box. Wink appears to easily allow multiple permissions levels,


I wouldn’t recommend installing the SmartThings app on your son’s phone in the situation that you’ve described.

I’m actually not 100% sure whether the users you’ve added to your hub location can see who the other users are; I’m able to see the other users that I’ve granted access to my account (but I’d have to look at the ST app on my wife’s phone to see what shows up there under the account tab).

But even if they can’t see the other users’ email addresses, anyone with the ST app on their phone has completely unrestricted access to your hub. They could mess with your lights, door locks, etc. and even delete everything if they wanted to.

ActionTiles is a great option for providing limited access to a SmartThings hub location. If you’re having an issue setting up AT you should contact their support. @tgauchat is generally very responsive to customers.


Thanks for your reply. I had emailed support at ActionTiles to see if they
can figure out the issue with Location. As far as the other, it seems like
a huge flaw that other hubs allow users to segregate permissions but ST
does not. In looking through the forums it seems like it’s the number one
issue users have so you’d think they would fix it. Especially as its
costing them customers. If I can;t get ACtion Tiles to work soon I’m going
to return the ST hub and get Wink.


1 Like

This is a very challenging situation regardless of the method to being used. First up, I agree with everyone who said don’t put the SmartThings mobile app on your son’s phone. And it may be that SmartThings is not the best match for your situation.

But let’s back up a minute. Consider that any option that allows your son’s phone to open your door is the equivalent of giving your son a physical key. If giving your son a physical key would put you or your partner in danger from your ex, you’re in an entirely different situation.

There Are so many different variations in this kind of situation, and only you will know what is best for your family.

Some families are not concerned about any situation where the child is actually present. They don’t believe that the ex would cause problems if for example, they are just dropping off the child at the house.

Other families don’t even want the ex to know where they are living.

You can use biometrics to make sure that the child is present when the door opens, such as a fingerprint sensor to open the door, and then A facial recognition camera inside the house to make sure that the ex has not also come in. But even that can’t solve the problem where the boy opens the door and the father sends the boy in to turn the camera around before the father enters. And I don’t know of any fingerprint sensor locks which work with SmartThings.

So again it all comes down to the details.

If you just want to prevent the father from having access/information about other people’s email addresses, then you can use life360 or IFTTT presence on the son’s phone and the father won’t be able to get any other information from that. But the father could still take the son’s phone physically, go to your house, and the door would unlock.

And I would never recommend a set up which depends on the child keeping information secret from the father, such as a pin code, because that just puts the boy in a very difficult situation.

Facial recognition technology is getting better and less expensive. Nest has a new outdoor camera coming out next month which will offer facial recognition but we’ll have to see how accurate it is.

I’m very sorry that you’re having to deal with all of this. There are a lot of different things you might do, but it all comes down to the exact details of your own situation, and whether you are worried about physical access to the house, or just access to other information like email addresses and names.


I admit it’s challenging but it could be managed with permissions levels and more control, just like some of the other systems now have. Which is why it’s baffling that ST doesn’t offer them. My son can be trusted, but my ex can’t. I’d like the ability to allow him access to do things like unlock the door (which he needs upon arrival from school) but not have access to the whole hub functions, or the ability to see other users. I’d also like the ability to turn off whatever permissions he has when he is not with me but with his dad. That would solve the whole problem, it should be relatively easy for them to program that functionality, and yet they don’t. Why? My situation can’t be much different from someone that would like to give a maid or dogwalker access to only some things.

1 Like

It’s definitely a good question. Smartthings is missing a lot of features that purpose built security systems have, including just an entry/exit delay. People have been asking questions about the security part of the design since it was first released, but it is what it is.

Many people in the community, myself included, use an entirely different security system from SmartThings for these reasons.

As far as dog walkers and all that, most people either use a keypad where the person enters a pin code or the physical SmartThings arrival sensor. You can set either of these to only be active at specific times.

At my house I have health aides who come so we just have a smart lock with a keypad on it and they get a pin code for that lock which is only good at certain times and which we can change whenever we want.

That way they don’t need to have a smart phone at all.

Once they’re inside the house, they can turn lights on and off, etc., either by switches on the wall just like nonnetworked Devices, by voice control, or from a wallmount tablet.

But again different things work for different households.

I get all that, and it works for you. But seriously, if ST things wants to
be thought of as a solution they need to upgrade this and quick. The irony
is they try to sell you security coupled with ADP, but how good can that
security be when they don’t allow for separate user permissions? I mean,
c’mon, this is real life. Can you image a kid getting mad at his parents
and wiping out everything, or locking them out? ST just does not
accommodate for real life scenarios and real life security issues.

If I pay $100 for a hub, I should not have to pay more for third party
add-ons to secure it, or use secondary measures. The whole idea of
automating a home is simplicity. That’s why we do it. (I used to be a
business analyst by the way). SmartThings is trying to sell a simple
solution that they don’t actually provide. The fact that SO MANY people
on here ask about it and complain should be a wake up call to them. I’m
weighing heavily the one time inconvenience of shipping the hub back and
reconfiguring all my devices and routines again, against this flaw. After
I have enough coffee, I’m going to do it.

The info that JD has provided is spot-on (as usual).

Can you tell us in a little more detail what functions are necessary for your son to be able to accomplish when he arrives at your house? The more info you can share, the easier it is to provide helpful and relevant suggestions.

As JD mentioned, it’s possible you can get done what you need without either the ST app or ActionTiles on his phone.

It sounds like unlocking the door is very important, in which case a lock with a keypad might meet your needs. ST can be used to restrict PIN codes to certain times (or other conditions).

The user permissions issue is one of many that ST hasn’t addressed over the years, and in general ST has some other flaws that make it not great as a home security system (as opposed to a home automation system).


I already have. And he’s reading a lot into the situation about my son that isn’t there. As stated, my son can be trusted. I just need the ability to partition certain functions like unlocking/locking the door and turning his bedroom light on and off, and the ability to turn those on and off so they can only be used by him when he is physically present with me. Again, if you have an automated house, you’d want the same functionality to let friends say, only get in the door and feed the dog when you’re on vacation, or a maid to only access the door (and nothing else) at a certain time.

The ability to set individual user levels should have been job 1 when they designed this. People that you want to have more casual or sporadic access to your home do not need to see the notifications or track your presence, and its dangerous. Yet ST forces you to make choices based on their lax security.

I have security cameras run on another system in my home but I don’t want to be in a situation where I have video of my ex, say destroying my Asian antiques. What good would that do? They’d still be broken. I want to “harden” my son’s access with supervised user level permissions and if this were a complete solution I should be able to do that.


I totally get your frustration and the huge concerns you have based on your situation.

Without going into a ton of additional details of what you can and can’t do and what is lacking from ST and not having to buy additional equipment, etc etc etc.

Since you mentioned ActionTiles and what you are looking for from visibility and accessibility to things contained within your ST environment, a Dashboard (panel) can be created easily enough for your son that includes only the devices that you want visible to your son without giving him access to every single device. Each of these Tiles (Devices) within the dashboard can be setup with Security enabled that requires a pin to be entered before being able to perform an action on the device. For example, if you do have the Smart Home Monitor added as a tile in ActionTiles to be able to Disarm/arm the system, you would set this Tile up with Security enabled so that your son has to enter s pin code to be able to Arm or Disarm the system. That’s as close to Secure as you are going to get with a DIY hub without investing a ton of dollars. Of course if you go this route, your son will always need to remember to logout of his ActionTiles account as to not expose to anyone else who gets a hold of his device, and that he keeps passwords/pincodes to himself.

I’m positive you will hear from @tgauchat with ActionTiles with some input on this. This may be perfect for what you are trying to accomplish with very limited access to ST.


I did get the issue resolved to use Action Tiles. But I still have Amazon delivering me a Wink hub tomorrow. Action Tiles is great if you have ST, want to keep it, and want the functionality they don’t give you. But I’ve only had ST for a week and I’m not wedded to it. With Wink I get that in the one hub and app, and it will be simpler to change now as opposed to in the future when I get tired of dealing with multiple fixes. So, for just the price of the Wink hub I get what I want. (you can look it up). I get that there are “work arounds” and I’m thankful for all who suggested them. But at the end of the day I want it simple - One Hub, one app, one price, instead of paying for ST, and then paying a location fee to Action Tiles and instead of having to use an extra layer to manage permissions. You can do that RIGHT IN the Wink app. Had I know about this blind spot with ST I would have purchased something else to start with. I just assumed that in this era that would be included. Boy was I wrong, and you know what they say about assuming.


My apologies, I wasn’t trying to read anything into the situation about your son, rather just to say that there could be many different aspects to this type of situation, and I didn’t know which ones would apply to you or not.

There’s no question that in the past SmartThings has oversold their base system as a security option when compared to some of the competition. :disappointed_relieved:

We don’t really have any idea what the new ADT/SmartThings offering is going to have as far as multiple user levels since it’s still in pre-release and they haven’t shown us any of the individual screens yet. And it’s not going to have a $99 hub, it’s a whole different product at a higher price point.

And I absolutely agree that SmartThings markets simplicity but it really isn’t a simple system for most of us. Which indeed can get very annoying!

So again, my apologies if you thought I was making assumptions about what your situation was. I was just trying to get a better handle on it because there is so much variation.

If wink turns out to be a good match for what you need, that’s great. Last time I looked into it, wink let you set permission at the individual device level but didn’t let you set a time schedule for those permissions. That may have changed since then.

Also, last time I looked, Wink treated all motion sensors of the same brand as one event, you couldn’t have a single motion sensor trigger one thing and a different motion sensor trigger something else. Since we use motion sensors as touchless switches for a lot of rooms, that part didn’t work for us. But again, it may have changed.

Every system has pluses and minuses, the trick is finding the one that best matches what you need. And unfortunately you can’t tell that from the marketing materials. :rage:

1 Like

This was one of many reasons we created ActionTiles with the secure and simple Panel Sharing feature used and loved by our Customers.

Looking forward to helping you get up and running with our app! Please contact


I do hope that wink works out for you, as the individual user-level permissions are not something that can be done in the ST app, as you’ve determined.

Please let us know if there’s something that we can help ST do for you in the future.


Fortunately I got a house where the previous owner bought total security. Its a waterfront house and I think they were just older and afraid, but the house came with multiple video cameras INDOORS, outdoor cameras over the doors, motion detectors, sensored lights, door and window sensors, and a safe. If it weren’t for the fact that I met the owner and it’s not that kind of neighborhood I would’ve suspected it was a drug house. So that’s my security system, and its a good one. I did replace the front door lock with a Schlage Connect that is on my hub.

I’m using IoTs tech to automate the rest of the house for convenience. And it came as a surprise to me that ST didn’t offer all that much convenience. We have multiple Amazon Alexas, so we use those to turn the connected lights on and off, to lock the front door if we’re in and forgot, etc. I wanted ST to give my son and significant other access to the door lock and a few lights, which should be simple. Except to use ST I can’t just do that, I have to give them each access to everything all the time (unless I delete them) and presumably, since no one has answered the original question, access to details about each other too (email addresses as “active users”).

At first I thought, well, I’ll just delete my son when he leaves for his dad’s and re-add my son every time he comes back. Not a perfect solution, but an OK one. I could deal with the hassle of that if I could assign him certain rights and not others. But I can’t. So then I have to layer something else over ST to do that (and pay for it). And I have to manage tiles in addition to administering the ST account… Maybe some people are willing to do that, but its too much upkeep for me. Convenience is everything.


Unlike Wink, SmartThings is significantly more extensible and that is the #1 reason 10s of thousands of folks chose ST and use this Community Forum.

Indeed, granular delegation of security seems like a feature that should be foundational and built into the SmartThings App… But the same could be said for dozens of other features useful to other customers. It’s impossible for one product to do everything.

Except that with an extensible platform like SmartThings, we were inspired and encouraged to address some top items on SmartThings customers wish lists with a unique add-on custom dashboard builder, with many more features than just secure Panel Sharing. At around $25 per Hub, that’s less than the price of almost any single sensor customers add to SmartThings or Wink.

In other words: We obviously consider Smart Home systems to grow when we add more devices. But it’s the same thing to add more software.

1 Like

For me, reliability has turned out to be the most important factor. :sunglasses: I’m quadriparetic, use a power wheelchair and have limited use of my hands. But I definitely understand what you’re saying about convenience. I have to pay somebody else to do anything with the system, including just change the batteries, so I’m very aware of all the little issues. Over the last year and a half I’ve moved all of my “must work” essential use cases to HomeKit, even though the available logic rules are much more limited compared to SmartThings. We also rely heavily on echo, and it’s been great.

I still use SmartThings for some convenience notifications like a reminder that the guestroom window is open, rain is expected, and the guest is away from the house, because so far it still does that kind of thing better than anything else in my price range.

The technology is changing and improving all the time on all these systems, but I have learned to never trust the marketing materials. In a lot of cases you just have to try it and see. Which is annoying in and of itself, but there we are.


Thanks, and your product - Action Tiles - is a great solution for those that want to use it. But there are hubs other than ST, like Wink, that are becoming more “extensible” all the time. I compared both products, ST and Wink (after I understood the necessity of doing it) and Wink is much better positioned in terms of security which I would think would be a huge priority for anyone… And to be clear I wrote an encryption program that uses one time pad encryption technology for anti-terrorism efforts… I’m not exactly a tech idiot. I’ve been in business a long time. It’s also not in your - Action Tiles - best interests for ST to add a function that would replicate those of your product. But I will challenge the makers of ST itself - if you want more customers, fix this issue. I have some influence/respect on tech issues in some quarters and would never recommend it the way it is now.

1 Like

Thanks for all your help and suggestions. I agree, people have different needs. It sounds like you have made it work. But, like a lot of consumers, I just want to run a few simple functions off my hub and security is a bigger priority than levels of specificity.


Since we’re confident SmartThings will never replicate all of our features, we will never be obsolete.

SmartThings improving is a good thing, as that ensures they reach more and more customers… Some of whom will become ActionTiles customers too.

There is no such thing as a “basic feature”. That’s why we love the ability to write add-on software.

1 Like