Warrant Necessary for Law Enforcement Officials, Says Amazon Ring

Amazon Ring has updated its policy, now making it mandatory for police and other officials to obtain a warrant to access footage from its doorbell cameras. This change was recently announced in a blog post by the company.

Previously, through the "request for assistance" (RFA) feature, police and public safety agencies could directly request video footage from Ring users, bypassing the need for a warrant. However, this practice has been discontinued. While these agencies can continue to utilize the Neighbors app for sharing safety tips and community information, they can no longer request videos through the app.

The decision to forego this practice came after Amazon faced severe backlash for allowing private security footage without proper consent. As a result, the company had modified its policy and allowed policy requests for videos to be made public on the app. However, the latest change mandates that law enforcement can only access Ring footage through a warrant.

Renowned policy analysts proclaimed this step as a positive one. However, experts do emphasize the need for further improvements by Ring to make their security features better. He suggested that end-to-end encryption should be enabled by default. Additionally, the company should disable default audio collection, which has been shown to capture sound from greater distances.

Amazon's approach to privacy has long been a subject of concern. In a notable incident last year, Amazon agreed to an almost $6 million settlement with the FTC, stemming from claims that the company failed to properly inform customers about how their data could be accessed. This agreement came in the wake of Amazon's own acknowledgment that it had provided police with video footage in specific "emergency" scenarios, doing so without the consent of the users or a warrant.

Ring discontinues direct police access to user footage, now mandating a warrant for law enforcement.
Photo: Digital Information World - AIgen

Read next: Artificial intelligence Can Exacerbate Ransomware Attacks, Warns UK's National Cyber Security Center
Previous Post Next Post