Ring stops short of letting police access camera feeds

Ring missed it by this much

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

Since I’ve been a homeowner, I’ve only had the opportunity to experience two different camera-based doorbells. The first was Ring and the second is <insert name here> because I have no clue. The second one came from my alarm company and is totally trash. The Ring doorbell was a vastly superior product. However, I’m hesitant to replace it with Ring (or Nest) because they like to share things with the police. Ring seems to be calming those fears, but not all the way.

Ring has stated that it will no longer allow police to ask for videos from your doorbell. The company, owned by Amazon, has decided to sunset the Request for Assistance feature. This will now force police officers to do their job and get a warrant for it.

This move doesn’t go far enough, though. While police will need to get a warrant to request your feed with normal investigations, in cases of emergency, they could just ask Ring for it. And, of course, Ring will give it up. This makes the whole process a lot less transparent. Yassi Yarger, an Amazon spokesperson, told The Verge that these are “rare occasions”. Ring will share information to police “when there is an imminent danger or death or serious physical injury, such as a kidnapping or an attempted murder.”

Yarger went on to say that “emergency requests are reviewed by trained professionals who disclose information only when that legal standard is met.” Without really knowing what that “legal standard” is, who’s to say what would constitute as an “emergency” for a cop. Google is also providing the same level of support to police with Nest cameras.

Now, Ring hopefully will altogether be out of the business of platforming casual and warrantless police requests for footage to its users. We are also still deeply skeptical about law enforcement’s and Ring’s ability to determine what is, or is not, an emergency that requires the company to hand over footage without a warrant or user consent.”

Matthew Guariglia, senior policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Source: The Verge

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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