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Amazon Ring Will Now Force Police To Publicly Request Security Footage

Amazon’s Ring has bought smart home security to the masses, but with this peace of mind comes increased breaching of civil liberties, as law enforcement agencies use this footage to aid with investigations.

After early criticism, Amazon have made changes in how the police are able to access this footage. They have publicly identified more than 2,000 US law enforcement agencies that access the footage and as of Monday, they will have to publicly declare which information they are requesting access to, through Amazon’s Neighbors app.

“We believe transparency and accountability are crucial to safer, better communities,” Ring said on Thursday on its blog. “Since our founding, we have been committed to improving our products and services by listening to and incorporating feedback from all parts of our communities.”

Police will now be required to use the “Request for Assistance” post on the Neighbors app – after which nearby neighbours who believe they have useful footage can choose which videos to share. Police must specify a time period of under 12 hours, and limit requests to under a half-square mile. They are also unable to change or delete requests.

Ring users can also opt out of the service.

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