Ring gives videos to police without warrant or user consent

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Amazon revealed that it was giving away police videos from its Ring doorbells without a warrant and without user consent.

Ring recently revealed how many times the answer to this question has been yes. The Amazon company responded to an investigation by U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), confirming that there were 11 instances in 2022 where Ring complied with police “emergency” requests. In each case, Ring handed over private recordings, including video and audio, without informing users that the police had access to their data and potentially downloaded it. This raises many concerns about the police’s increased reliance on private surveillance, a practice that has long gone unregulated.

EFF writes:

The police are not Ring’s customers. the people who buy the devices are the customers. But Amazon’s longstanding relationship with law enforcement blurs that line. For example, in the past, Amazon has given advice to the police to tell residents to install the Ring app and buy cameras for their homes, an arrangement that kicked sellers out of the police force. The LAPD launched an investigation into how Ring provided free devices to officers when people used their discount codes to purchase cameras.

Ring, like other surveillance companies that sell directly to the general public, continues to provide free services to the police, even though it is not obligated to do so. Ring could build a device, sold directly to residents, that guarantees the police will come to the user’s doorstep if they’re interested in footage, but Ring has instead decided it’d rather keep making money from it. residents while providing services to the police.

CNet has a good explainer.

Slashdot thread.

*** This is a syndicated security blog from Schneier’s Security Bloggers Network written by Bruce Schneier. Read the original post at: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/08/ring-gives-videos-to-police-without-a-warrant-or-user-consent.html

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