Skip to main content

Unbiased. Straight Facts.TM

U.S.

Ring restricts police from requesting doorbell footage from users

Jan 25

Share

Media Landscape

See who else is reporting on this story and which side of the political spectrum they lean. To read other sources, click on the plus signs below.

Learn more about this data

Left 28%

Center 61%

Right 11%

Bias Distribution Powered by Ground NewsTM

Ring’s “Neighbors” app will no longer allow police to ask users for doorbell footage. The app was seen as an easy, accessible way for law enforcement to ask neighbors in a certain vicinity for surveillance that could help them solve a crime. Thursday, Jan. 25, Ring announced police and other public safety agencies can no longer request such surveillance.

Some critics argued the requests were a violation of users’ privacy before Ring adjusted its policies.

Ring has been evolving its policies over police accessibility.

Police were previously able to send private messages to users asking if they had footage that may have captured a crime or person of interest on their camera.

Ring even promoted partnerships with local police departments where police touted how helpful it was to have a direct line to its community.

“Being able to reach out to our citizens on the Neighbors app when we have a crime or incident and ask them to share that information with us is incredible,” a police officer in the video said. 

Company policies have changed since Ring first released the promo in 2019. In 2021, Ring modified the app so police could no longer send direct messages to its users. However, police could still make posts publicly asking neighbors to check their Ring cameras in regards to suspicious activity.

In its most recent change, Ring has restricted those posts on their app too. This latest measure is the most restrictive on what law enforcement can do on the app.

Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights watchdog group, praised Ring’s most recent revision.

“Now, Ring hopefully will altogether be out of the business of platforming casual and warrantless police requests for footage to its users,” the group said. “This is a step in the right direction, but has come after years of cozy relationships with police and irresponsible handling of data.”

In the summer of 2023, Ring paid nearly $6 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission after the company was accused of allowing employees access to users videos.

The FTC said Ring had inadequate security measures to protect consumers’ privacy. Ring has refuted those allegations.

Tags: , , , , ,

[KARAH RUCKER]

RING’S NEIGHBOR APP WILL NO LONGER ALLOW POLICE TO ASK USERS FOR DOORBELL FOOTAGE.

THE APP WAS AN EASY, ACCESSIBLE WAY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT TO ASK NEIGHBORS IN A CERTAIN VICINITY IF THEY HAD SURVEILLANCE THAT COULD HELP THEM SOLVE A CRIME.

BUT STARTING THIS WEEK –

RING SAYS POLICE CAN NO LONGER DO THAT.

SOME HAD ARGUED IT WAS A VIOLATION OF USERS PRIVACY.

RING HAS BEEN EVOLVING ITS POLICIES OVER POLICE ACCESSIBILITY.

USED TO BE –

POLICE WERE ABLE TO SEND PRIVATE MESSAGES TO USERS ASKING IF THEY HAD FOOTAGE THAT MAY HAVE CAPTURED A CRIME OR PERSON OF INTEREST ON THEIR CAMERA.

RING EVEN PROMOTED THEIR “PARTNERSHIPS” WITH LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS –

WHERE POLICE TOUTED HOW HELPFUL IT WAS TO HAVE A DIRECT LINE TO ITS COMMUNITY.

[PROMO VIDEO OFFICER]

“Being able to reach out to our citizens on the neighbors app when we have a crime or incident and ask them to share that information with us is incredible.” 

[KARAH RUCKER]

BUT SINCE RING SHARED THIS PROMO IN 2019 –

COMPANY POLICIES HAVE CHANGED.

IN 2021 –

RING MADE IT TO WHERE POLICE COULD NO LONGER SEND DIRECT MESSAGES TO ITS USERS.

BUT THEY COULD STILL MAKE A POST PUBLICLY ASKING NEIGHBORS TO CHECK THEIR RING CAMERAS IN REGARDS TO SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY.

NOW – RING HAS RESTRICTED THOSE POSTS ON THEIR APP TOO.

THIS LATEST MEASURE BEING THE MOST RESTRICTIVE ON WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT CAN DO ON THE APP.

A DIGITAL RIGHTS WATCHDOG GROUP PRAISED RING’S MOST RECENT DECISION.

QUOTE. 

“Now, Ring hopefully will altogether be out of the business of platforming casual and warrantless police requests for footage to its users. This is a step in the right direction, but has come after years of cozy relationships with police and irresponsible handling of data.”

PRIVACY RIGHTS HAS BEEN AN ISSUE WITH THE COMPANY.

LAST SUMMER RING PAID NEARLY $6 MILLION TO SETTLE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION AFTER THE COMPANY WAS ACCUSED OF ALLOWING EMPLOYEES ACCESS TO USERS VIDEOS.

THE FTC SAID RING HAD INADEQUATE SECURITY MEASURES TO PROTECT CONSUMERS’ PRIVACY.

SOMETHING RING HAS REFUTED.