Amazon declined to reveal how many users had their Ring footage obtained by police, even though the company prides itself on the partnerships forged with law enforcement all over US and its apparent desire to be more transparent.
One of the features Amazon prides itself on when it comes to Ring is its interconnectivity. The company doesn’t hide that police department could access Ring recordings, and even added some options over the years to make it easier for users to opt-out of this program.
Recently, Ring proposed a new app called The Ring Neighbors, which technically required participation of all community members. Now, the company wants to make it a little more transparent by informing people when law enforcement requests footage.
“All Request for Assistance posts will be publicly viewable in the Neighbors feed, and logged on the agency’s public profile,” says Ring. “This way, anyone interested in knowing more about how their police agency is using Request for Assistance posts can simply visit the agency’s profile and see the post history.”
“Request for Assistance posts are opt-in, nothing is shared with any agency unless you actively go through the steps of choosing to do so,” Ring also states.
This entire venture makes it much easier for law enforcement to get access to videos for which they would normally need to get a warrant from a judge. In this situation, the users offer up the video of their own accord, so a warrant is no longer necessary.
According to the TechCrunch report, Ring had 1,800 legal demands in 2020, but when the company was asked how many of those requests were granted, Ring declined to say. This makes it an exception as most of the other tech giants offer this kind of information each year.