The Ring gets a lot of criticism, not just for its massive surveillancevideo doorbells and its problematic privacy and security practices, but also for giving that doorbell footage to law enforcement. While Ring is moving toward transparency, the company refuses to disclose how many passed to the police. The video doorbell maker, in 2018, has partnerships with at least 1,800 U.S. police departments (growing) that can request camera footage from . Before a change this , any police department that Ring partnered with could privately request doorbell camera footage from Ring customers for an active investigation. The Ring will now on user video footage through its Neighbors app.
The change ostensibly basic user information, a search warrant, or a court order for video content, assuming evidence of a crime. Ring received over 1,800 legal demands during 2020, more than double the year earlier, according to a transparency quietly in January. Circle does not disclose sales figures but . But the information leaves out the context that most transparency reports include: how many users or accounts had footage given to police when Ring was served with a legal demand?more control when police can access their doorbell footage but ignores privacy concerns that police can access users’ footage without a warrant. Civil liberties advocates and lawmakers have long can obtain camera footage from Ring users through a legal back door because private users own Ring’s sprawling network of doorbell cameras. Police can still serve Ring with a lawful demand, such as a subpoena for
When reached, Ring declined to say how many users had footage obtained by police. That number of users or accounts subject to searches is not inherently secret but an obscure side effect of how companies decide — if at all — to disclose when the . Though not obligated to, most tech companies publish transparency to show how often the government obtains user data. Transparency reports allowed against damning allegations of intrusive bulk government surveillance by showing that only a fraction of a company’s users are subject to government demands.
But context is everything. Facebook, security camera company that makes devices you can put on your own homes, but it is increasingly also a tool of the state to conduct criminal investigations and surveillance,” Matthew Guariglia, a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told TechCrunch. Guariglia added that Ring could release the numbers of . Ring users can opt out of receiving requests from police, but this option would not stop law enforcement from obtaining a legal order from a judge for your data. Users can also switch on to prevent anyone other than the user, including Ring, from accessing their videos., Microsoft, Google, and Twitter all reveal how many legal demands they receive but also specify how many users or accounts had data given. In some cases, the number of users or accounts affected can be twice or more than threefold the number of demands received. Ring’s parent, Amazon, is a rare exception among the giants, which does not eliminate the specific number of users whose information was turned over to law enforcement. “Ring is ostensibly a