Amazon Reveals It Shares Ring Camera Footage With Police Without Permission

Amazon is sharing footage from its Ring doorbell cameras with police without owners’ permission, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Wednesday.

An increasing number of law enforcement agencies use a Ring platform that allows them to ask for customers’ footage. The platform, called Neighbors Public Safety Service, has 2,161 law enforcement agency users, a “more than five-fold increase” since late 2019, Markey said.

Ring has handed over doorbell videos to police 11 times this year without customer consent, Markey said.

“We cannot accept this surveillance as inevitible,” Markey said in a tweet.

“As my ongoing investigation into Amazon illustrates, it has become increasingly difficult for the public to move, assemble, and converse in public without being tracked and recorded,” Markey said, promoting his Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act to Engadget.

Amazon said in a statement to Markey that Ring has turned over doorbell camera video to cops in response to emergency requests.

“In each instance, Ring made a good-faith determination that there was an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to a person requiring disclosure of information without delay,” Amazon explained.

The company added that its “law enforcement guidelines” grant it the ability to “respond immediately to urgent” requests for cases involving imminent danger of death and serious injury.

Ring has said multiple times that police can’t see videos from Ring cameras unless they’re posted publicly online or handed over by camera owners, Politico noted.

A Ring spokesperson told Politico that the company informs camera owners but doesn’t need their consent when it gives clips to police in response to warrants.

Ring, in a statement to HuffPost, said it’s “simply untrue” that the company gives “anyone unfettered access to customer data or video, as we have repeatedly made clear to our customers and others.”

“The law authorizes companies like Ring to provide information to government entities if the company believes that an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person, such as a kidnapping or an attempted murder, requires disclosure without delay. Ring faithfully applies that legal standard,” the statement read.

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