Allegations of User Data Sharing with Authorities Hit Amazon’s Ring Division

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User data and privacy protections are back in the spotlight as hot topics again as Amazon’s home security solution Ring is accused of sharing information with law enforcement without prior user knowledge.

white surveillance camera hanging on wall
A white surveillance camera hanging on wall. Photo by Alan J. Hendry

These claims come from Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey who was featured in another recent story and who seems to be making user data privacy a cornerstone of his time in office.

At the crux of this story is the growth in popularity of devices like Ring and an inquiry into their business practices. Namely, the exponential growth of these devices presents a challenge for everyone involved when it comes to a privacy standpoint.

Why? Well, because Ring confirmed it released user data to authorities but “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,” the company writes in their response.

What’s wrong with that? It all boils down to whether or not you want your Ring (or another device) making that call.

In a tweet posted to his account, the senator said, “Amazon doesn’t just want to take your money, they want to take your privacy and civil liberties. Giving your Ring camera footage to police without a warrant or consent is unacceptable.”

In a statement posted on PetaPixel following the publication of the senator’s letter, Ring writes:

“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 authorizes 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 a kidnapping or an attempted murder, requires disclosure without delay. Ring faithfully applies that legal standard.”

Do you think services like Ring should notify owners before giving data over to authorities? Let us know your thoughts on that in the comments.

Check out our other news on Light Stalking at this link.

[US Senate]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

This is exactly why I don’t have Ring or Nest, etc. I’m a boring person, so I don’t need their services.
They should clarify their algorithm in the privacy explanation, so people can know that an AI or even a person can make a decision to turn over your Ring footage.
Secondly, they should immediately notify the person of their sending the police by text, email, or other silent media.
Just reassures me that I’ve made the correct decision for me. Thanks for this important information.

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