Amazon Ring now Partnered with over 400 Police Departments
Privacy issues continues to be a hot topic with persuasive reasoning on both sides of the aisle. In the midst of this ongoing debate, Amazon’s Ring recently announced that it has partnered with over 400 local US police departments nationwide as a means of preventing and solving crime. Ring, the doorbell surveillance camera company based in Santa Monica, CA, was acquired by Amazonfor $800 million dollars in (year)(link). The Company released the map below providing viewers with a detailed look at each police department in the program, along with date when they joined. Up to this point, Ring has remained quiet about the extent of the partnership.
(Photo map of police departments in the program)
The partnerships grant police forces across the United States with potential access to homeowners’ camera footage, providing a powerful network of footage in what the company calls the nation’s “new neighborhood watch.” The partnerships allow police to request video recorded by homeowners’ Ring cameras within a designated area during a specific time. To date, millions of cameras are installed nationwide. To be clear, the partnership does not give officers access to direct footage. Request for footage are sent to homeowners via an email that comes directly from Ring, at which point the homeowner can choose to decline requests.
Along with their PR Release regarding the program (link), Ring announced the following:
"Customers, not law enforcement, are in control of their videos. Videos are shared through the Neighbors program only if: 1) a customer chooses to post it publicly on the Neighbors app; 2) explicit consent is provided by the customer. Law enforcement agencies who participate in the Neighbors app must go through the Ring team when making a video request to customers. Customers can choose to opt out or decline any request, and law enforcement agencies have no visibility into which customers have received a request and which have opted out or declined."