The Ring gets a lot of criticism, not just for its massive surveillance network of homeand its problematic privacy and security practices, but also for giving that doorbell footage to law enforcement. While Ring is moving towards transparency, the company refuses to disclose how many users had their 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 , any police department that Ring partnered with could privately request doorbell camera footage from Ring customers for an active investigation. The Ring will now let its police partners publicly request .
The change ostensibly gives Ring users 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 court order for video content, assuming evidence of a crime.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 basic user information, a search warrant, or a
According to a transparencyquietly in January, Ring received over 1,800 legal demands during 2020, more than double from the year earlier. The circle does not disclose sales figures but . But the report 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?
When reached, Ring declined to. That number of users or accounts subject to searches is not inherently secret. Still, an obscure side effect of how companies decide — if at all — to disclose when the . Though they are not obligated to, most publish transparency reports once or twice a year to show how often the government obtains user data.
Transparency reports allowed receive and 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.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, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter all reveal how many legal requests they
Ring’s parent, Amazon, is a rare exception among the 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.giants, which does not eliminate the specific number of users whose information was turned over to law enforcement. “Ring is ostensibly a
Guariglia added that Ring could release the numbers of users subject to legal demands and how many users have previouslyrequests through the app. Ring users can opt out of receiving recommendations from police, but this option would not stop law enforcement from obtaining a legal for your data. Users can also switch on to prevent anyone other than the user, including Ring, from accessing their videos.