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Google Gives Law Enforcement Agencies The Green Light To See Users’ Video Without Any Warrant

Following in the footsteps of Amazon, Google has reportedly granted full permission to respective law enforcement agencies to view users’ videos without any warrant.

The news comes as we saw a number of tech giants come forward and confirm to CNET how they would not be granting permission to authorities for the same purpose. Common names included the likes of Arlo, Anker, Eufy, and Apple.

The companies felt it was a huge violation of users’ privacy to grant footage belonging to users’ smart home devices, unless and until a specific warrant was provided in this regard or in the case that an order was granted by the court of law.

But despite the announcement being made public, Google and Amazon continue to defy people’s reservations and continue to behave in the exact opposite direction. So that means the police can show up without any warrant and take the data, in the case of an emergency situation.

It’s actually really very interesting to note how Amazon, which is the main leading organization behind most smart home hardware devices like doorbells, cameras, and even security systems managed to get the police involved with warrantless actions.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, it has got Google on board in terms of following in its footsteps with a similar privacy policy getting generated for law enforcement agencies who can get their required details via the firm’s Nest goods and services or in reality, any other place on Google without permission.


Meanwhile, the policies do mention how they would, in most cases, be liable to present legal orders or warrants, whenever they choose to hand the date over further. And in case they don’t, they would be subject to penalization as it would be against the law.

Like any other policy, some exceptions are made like those pertaining to an emergency situation. But surprisingly, Google, which promises to behave with great transparency, is yet to include any form of a clause that delineates an emergency request.

When asked to comment on the matter, the search engine giant revealed how it would never think twice before acting in a matter that involved a person’s life and death. Hence, in such exceptional scenarios, they were ready to give data to respective government agencies.

It even specified the situations to include those shootings, bombings, missing victims, and kidnappings among others.

On the other hand, one unnamed spokesperson from Google was seen shedding light on how the firm does its level best to try and inform users beforehand about their data being used in certain cases but again, no sign of emergency cases being outlined. Meanwhile, Amazon failed to respond to any comment related to such situations so we feel Google at least is doing a better job at that.

As far as things are concerned from a legal perspective, the firm is given full permission to share the types of data with the police, in case an emergency arises. But after carrying out thorough research on the prevailing laws in the system, there is no mandate that forces anyone to share.

Some tech companies against the policy argue that if the case is so urgent then getting a court order or a relevant arrest warrant shouldn’t take too much time either and hence that needs to be mandated into policy.

Another interesting twist in the story is how leading companies like Anker that are actually protesting against such policies have actually gone on to share user data in other ways with law enforcement agencies. And the same stands true for Meta as well.

Yes, they might not be giving your video access but they’re still guilty of the practice through other means.

Read next: Alphabet’s 2022 Q2 Earnings Report Shows Success With $69.7 Billion In Revenue

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