Amazon Ring police data sharing

Occurred: July 2022

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Amazon Ring has confirmed that it has shared private recordings, including video and audio, with the US police eleven times in 2022. In each case, the company did not let Ring owners know that the police had access to and used their data.

The confirmation raises concerns about increasing police reliance upon private surveillance, a practice that has long gone unregulated. It also calls into question how much Ring users know about how their data is used.

Amazon chose to make the information public in a response (pdf) to an inquiry by Senator Ed Markey after the lawmaker and persistent Amazon critic had questioned Ring's surveillance practices.

Amazon said it only shares footage with police without a warrant under emergency circumstances involving imminent danger of death or serious physical harm, and that emergency requests do not require the consent of the device owner.

In 2020, Ring admitted four employees had improperly accessed Ring video data in a letter to five US senators.

Operator: Amazon/Ring
Developer:
Amazon/Ring

Country: USA

Sector: Govt - police

Purpose: Strengthen security

Technology: CCTV; Computer vision
Issue: Privacy; Ethics

Transparency: Governance; Marketing; Privacy

System

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