Amazon’s Ring shared data with US police without user permission 11 times this year
Ring, a video doorbell company by Amazon, acknowledged it had shared data with law enforcement without the user's consent on 11 occasions this year, believing there was imminent danger of severe injury or death.
On Wednesday, Senator Edward J. Markey released the latest findings from his probe into Amazon doorbell company Ring to highlight “the close relationship between Ring and law enforcement.”
According to his findings, Ring reported more than a five-fold increase in law enforcement partnerships on its platform since November 2019.
“As my ongoing investigation into Amazon illustrates, it has become increasingly difficult for the public to move, assemble, and converse in public without being tracked and recorded,” said Senator Markey.
Brian Huseman, Vice President for public policy at Amazon, sent a 6-pages-long response to Markey on July 1, detailing the technology behind the Ring doorbells and the nature of its partnership with law enforcement.
The letter said that Ring has provided videos to law enforcement this year in response to an emergency request “only 11 times.”
“In each instance, 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,” Huseman wrote.
The Ring is committed to avoiding sharing customer information with law enforcement absent consent or a warrant. However, it can share doorbell videos under “an exigent or emergency” circumstance.
“Based on the information provided in the emergency request form and the circumstances described by the officer, Ring makes a good-faith determination whether the request meets the well-known standard, grounded in federal law, that there is imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requiring disclosure of information without delay,” Huseman explained.
Senator Markey and Jeff Merkley, alongside congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, introduced the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act that would prohibit the use of biometric technology by federal agencies and condition federal grant funding to state and local entities on moratoria on the use of biometric technology.
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