July 15, 2022 · less than 3 min read
The company has been providing law enforcement with Ring doorbell footage – without the user’s permission.
Cut down in its prime
Amid Amazon Prime Day, which took place over the past couple of days, there were some nefarious headlines popping off surrounding the retail giant’s Ring doorbells.
For the uninitiated, Ring was bought by Amazon back in 2018. The brand creates motion-detecting doorbells that send video footage to their owner’s device, allowing them to speak through the doorbell to any visitors. A pretty handy security tool, for sure – but it’s not just the users who think so. Its been found that Amazon has handed over doorstep footage to law enforcement at least 11 times this calendar year already, putting privacy violation laws at the fore. Wonder how Ring sales are doing on Prime Day?
Put a Ring on it
According to Politico, the details emerged from a letter Amazon sent to Sen. Ed Markey earlier this month after he’d asked the retailer about privacy violations in June. And while Ring’s company policy does say it can share a user’s data without consent, the letter is the first admission from the company that it does exactly that.
Ring is no stranger to controversy. Back in November, it was revealed that the company embarked on a secretive lobbying campaign that intended to roll back privacy protections in 25 different states. Plus, in 2020 Amazon admitted that four employees had improperly accessed Ring video data from doorbell cameras.
Amazon, as expected, have been defensive. On the 11 cases of footage being shared with the police without user consent, its Vice President of Public Policy, Brian Huseman, said: “Ring made a good-faith determination that there was an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to a person requiring disclosure of information without delay.”
But of course, we’re not allowed to see the actual footage. So, I guess we have to take Brian’s word for it, right?
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