Nearly one in 10 U.S. police departments have access to videos from millions of privately owned Amazon Ring devices. Ring’s Active Agency Map shows the home security camera company now has partnerships with more than 1,800 police departments in the U.S. out of nearly 18,000 total departments across the country.
The company’s “Neighbors” app notifies Ring users when neighbors or local law enforcement agencies send out public safety alerts.
“We built Neighbors for our customers, not law enforcement, and users must opt-in to share videos on a per-request basis. Law enforcement do not have access to customer devices or livestreams, and customers are in total control of the information they share,” a Ring spokesperson told FOX Business.
Law enforcement officials who wish to receive footage of specific incidents from Ring users, however, do not need warrants to submit requests for such material, and users are not legally obligated to comply with requests, according to a FAQ page on Ring’s website.
“After joining Neighbors, public safety agencies may submit a video request through Neighbors asking their community to assist an investigation by voluntarily sharing videos.
Users can ignore the request and also change their privacy settings to avoid receiving future requests. Public safety cannot see which users, if any, receive a request unless the user chooses to share video in response,” the page reads.
Ring users can also opt out of receiving video requests from law enforcement. The company prohibits video requests for lawful activities like protests, and all requests are moderated, according to the spokesperson.