Amazon-owned surveillance camera outfit Ring Inc. is partnering up with over 200 law enforcement departments across the United States.
This news comes from a report from tech website Motherboard, who have acquired notes from an officer that was given a webinar by Ring. The partnership will allow officers to request footage from owners through Ring, and while the police require consent from owners to access the footage, they won’t require a warrant.
A “Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal” provided by Ring will see law enforcement officials allowed by local police to see a map with the locations of Ring cameras in a neighborhood, allowing them to make footage requests. While, as above, this will not require a warrant, Ring did clarify that requests need to be tied to an active investigation.
Partnerships will reportedly involve Ring donating free doorbell cameras to local and county police departments, in addition to providing them access to the portal. Motherboard reports that the Waynesboro Police Department has recieved 15 free doorbell cameras from Ring, but in addition to this every resident that downloaded Ring’s Neighbours app, a neighborhood watch-esque program for communities, they would earn credit towards more free cameras.
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“Every decision we make at Ring centers around privacy, security and user control,” said a Ring spokesperson in a statement.
“While law enforcement partners can submit video requests for users in a given area when investigating an active case, Ring facilitates these requests and user consent is required in order for any footage or information to be shared. Law enforcement cannot see how many Ring users received the request, declined to share or opted-out of all future requests.”
This isn’t Amazon’s first involvement with law enforcement, as they’ve also encountered criticism for providing their Rekognition facial recognition software to law enforcement, in addition to pitching it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).