Amazon Ring Revokes Police Access To Neighbors App Footage


Amazon Ring has announced that it will no longer facilitate police’s warrantless requests for footage from Ring users. This decision marks a significant shift in policy and has been welcomed by privacy advocates.

Key Takeaway

Amazon Ring has announced the revocation of police access to footage from Ring users through the Neighbors app, marking a significant shift in policy that has been welcomed by privacy advocates and critics.

Amazon Ring’s Policy Change

Amazon Ring has decided to end the Request for Assistance (RFA) tool, which allowed police and fire departments to request doorbell video through Ring’s Neighbors app. This tool has been a major concern for privacy advocates for a number of years. The company’s decision to revoke police access to the Neighbors app footage is seen as a step in the right direction by many.

Response from Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been vocal about the issue, and its Senior Policy Analyst, Matthew Guariglia, has expressed support for Amazon Ring’s decision. Guariglia highlighted the years of public outcry and criticism that led to this change in policy. While acknowledging this as a positive step, the EFF remains skeptical about law enforcement’s and Ring’s ability to determine what constitutes an emergency that requires the company to hand over footage without a warrant or user consent.

Concerns and Public Response

Public officials and lawmakers have also raised concerns about the privacy implications of Ring’s practices. Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, for instance, expressed alarm over Ring’s pursuit of facial recognition technology and highlighted the potential biases in such software, particularly in misidentifying people of color.

In 2021, Amazon made police requests public as part of its biannual transparency report, revealing a 65% increase in legal requests from agencies compared to the previous year. The decision to revoke police access to the Neighbors app footage is likely to be heralded as a win for privacy advocates.

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