Security Camera Ring: Putting an End to Police Video Requests

Amazon-owned Ring announced it will stop allowing police to request users’ footage. The move is in response to ongoing privacy concerns about the company’s ties to law enforcement. The decision to shut down the feature allowing police to request and receive videos from users of the app, Neighbors, was shared by Eric Kuhn, the general manager of subscriptions and software for the Ring app. Previously, police could send private email requests for footage to Ring users. People could respond to the posts by sending the police videos that may be relevant to an investigation without the police needing to seek a warrant. Privacy advocates have criticized Ring for its relationships with police forces, and the company has been accused of exacerbating racial discrimination. The change at Ring has been celebrated by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, although they warn that the proliferation of doorbell cameras still threatens people’s rights. Amazon acquired Ring in 2018. In 2022, it was revealed that more than 2,100 law enforcement agencies participated in the Neighbors app. Amazon shared Ring footage with law enforcement 11 times in 2022 using a process that does not require the user’s consent. Amazon’s vice president of public policy stated that in each instance, Ring made a good-faith determination that there was an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to a person. Last year, Amazon agreed to pay $5.8 million after the Federal Trade Commission said that Ring had allowed its employees and contractors to access private videos and had failed to implement security measures to protect customers from online threats. Ring disputed those claims in a May 2023 statement announcing the settlement.

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Insights from The Times’s Investigation of Child Influencers

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Rising Threat: China’s Growing Cyber Espionage and the New Vulnerability

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