Amazon’s Ring to stop sharing video with police without warrant

Amazon’s Ring said it will retire its police-friendly policy of handing over video upon law enforcement request without an official warrant.

The company posted about the updated ‘Request for Assistance’ policy on its official Ring Blog, buried at the end of an announcement about some new Neighbors App Features.

“This week, we are also sunsetting the Request for Assistance (RFA) tool,” Ring stated at the end of its blog post titled ‘Ring Announces New Neighbors App Features, Sunsets Request for Assistance Post.’

“Public safety agencies like fire and police departments can still use the Neighbors app to share helpful safety tips, updates, and community events,” Ring said.

“They will no longer be able to use the RFA tool to request and receive video in the app.”

Back In 2022, US lawmakers first began questioning Amazon’s practice of sharing the doorbell footage without a customer’s consent when it was requested by law enforcement.

“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,” Amazon had said in its response to accusations that Ring was violating it customer’s privacy at the time.

That year, the company said it had only handed over requested video to police in 11 instances.

Since then Amazon’s Ring has been investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for other privacy-related customer violations.

Last year, the FTC fined Ring close to $6 million for allowing its employees and third-party contractors to have unfettered access to consumers’ private videos, essentially turning the devices into live spy cams.

The e-commerce giant’s popular home security systems are used in millions of individual residences and businesses across the world as a safety and protection device.

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