Amazon’s Ring security service has become a useful tool for fighting crime. It films what’s going on outside your door to help prevent porch thefts from random people passing by on the street. The problem is a common one, but has the technology now gone too far after giving access to the police to watch your Ring camera footage?
Partnering With Law Enforcement
The security service from Amazon is now partnering with over 400 law enforcement agencies in the United States. Amazon announced it would be creating an extension of its Neighbors app called the Neighbors Portal. This allows law enforcement to request permission from Ring users to look at their footage concerning any investigations they might have. The access would also allow law enforcement to make public announcements through the Ring service.
Questions About User Privacy
Clearly there is the capability of this technology to be accessed by outside parties, which has brought into question how safe the user’s privacy is. Users have the option to say no when the police come asking for access to their footage, but skeptics wonder how long that will be the case. If people are given subpoenas to give the police access, then is there really any freedom of choice in the situation?
Nothing To Hide
Of course, the technology aims to help prevent and fight crime, but the privacy of the users is equally important. There could be a lack of freedom of choice over who gets access to your footage in the future, which might not sit too well with everyone.
The partnership with Ring and law enforcement appears to be a good one. It will help them solve crimes and make announcements, but the cost may well be the privacy of those using the service.