Newshound said "The cams DO NOT phone home to China. "
But if there are updates to the firmware, that does permit them to make the change in the future to permit such data collection. It may even be possible to target a firmware update to a specific user.
But, of course, all that is probably available to the U.S. government via cell phones, and PCs. In fact the U.S. government was exposed by Snowden, to be tracking call information for every American. It was approve by a judge, but was blatantly unconstitutional. So, I don’t know if it mattes if the company is owned by a Chinese company or not.
It is also typical for most smart appliances to require the use of the internet even when it really isn’t necessary for most usages. This certainly a way to give up one’s privacy, but I think most Americans are OK with this now.
Remember most are OK with having their pictures taken of them naked via airport scanners, or to have their genitals touched while being searched at the airports. All blatant violations of the Constitution, but again, people just don’t care.