Amazon Ring doorbell footage given to police without user consent

Amazon has admitted to giving police forces data from its Ring doorbell units without user permission on 11 occasions so far this year.

The information was shared by US Democratic senator, Edward Markey, who investigated Ring and released a letter he received from the company’s vice president of Public Policy, Brian Huseman.

In the letter, Huseman stated: “So far this year, Ring has provided videos to law enforcement 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.”

In response to the findings, a spokesperson for Amazon’s Ring said in a statement: “It’s simply untrue that Ring gives anyone unfettered access to customer data or video, as we have repeatedly made clear to our customers and others. The law authorises companies like Ring to provide information to government entities if the company believes that an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person, such as kidnapping or an attempted murder, requires disclosure without delay. Ring faithfully applies that legal standard.”

It was also uncovered that Ring’s Neighbors Public Safety Service (NPSS), a platform that allows law enforcement to request footage from Ring owners, currently has 2,161 law enforcement agencies and 455 fire departments enrolled, five time the amount from November 2019.

Concerned about the data handed over to law enforcement, the senator is now calling on Congress to pass the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act to stop law enforcement from accessing sensitive information about citizen’s faces, voices and bodies.

Main image: BrandonKleinPhoto/Shutterstock.com

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