Science & Tech

Amazon makes creepy '1984' admission about Ring doorbell footage

Amazon makes creepy '1984' admission about Ring doorbell footage
Ring Doorbell Captures Neighbour Reversing Car into House

Amazon has made a terrifying admission about what it does with the data collected by its Ring doorbells.

The Big Brother from George Orwell's 1984 novel is becoming an increasingly everpresent reality as Amazon revealed it gives Ring footage to police departments upon “emergency” request.

In 2018, Amazon bought the company which specialises in making home security equipment including video doorbells and cameras for property.

It gives Ring users the ability to view a live stream of who is visiting their home and its partner app, Neighbours, allows people in local areas to share camera footage or safety alerts to help prevent neighbourhood crime.

While 2,000 police departments in the US partner with Ring to request access to footage to help in crime investigation, the company claim that owners are not obliged to hand over that information.

But, reports by The Verge suggest that, in fact, Amazon and Ring themselves may hand that information over instead with the customer’s consent or a warrant.

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According to Ring’s terms and conditions, the company will turn over data “if legally required to do so” or to “comply with applicable law, regulation, legal process or reasonable preservation request”.

But Amazon’s law enforcement guide essentially says the company itself reserves the right to “immediately” hand over information if it deems it an emergency.

It says the company “reserves the right to respond immediately to urgent law enforcement requests for information in cases involving a threat to public safety or risk of harm to any person”.

Responding to a question from Senator Ed Markey on 1 July, Amazon revealed Amazon admitted that so far in 2022 Ring gave customer footage to law enforcement agencies 11 times “in response to an emergency request”.

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