Recently, there has been a lot of fuss regarding that police in the USA will now be able to have access to the video footage recorded by the Ring video camera system and can even use it however they want. Well, to make things clear, a lot of research was done, and we got to know the actual case here.
The Livonia police caught a robber through a video that was posted in the Ring’s neighbors app due to which the case was well handled. Due to this, it has been concluded by the police officers that they should join in with Ring and have access to the video footage, as it will help the law in catching the criminals and will protect the neighborhood from any such crimes. As a result of this, more than 600 police forces have formed partnerships with Ring to maintain security in the area.
No doubt, the idea was well-intentioned, but the users were even worried regarding their privacy and the security policies as it was stated that the video footage of both internal as well as external cameras would be covered, and the police can even share these videos with whomever they want.
When Senator Edward Markey wrote a letter to Amazon regarding the details of the way the video footage will be used and what all steps the company will take to protect the privacy of its users, he got a reply which has cleared most of our doubts. Ring, which is owned by Amazon, will be following some strict policies or restrictions while sharing the video footage with the police officers.
The policies and rules stated by Amazon say that, when the police station is asking permission for video footage, it has to specify the case number and the type of case that the video footage is concerned with. Along with that, the company even ensures that the users can also decline the request to share a video clip with the police, and they will not be marked with it, which means the user will remain anonymous.
Furthermore, Amazon has even added some more rules, which include that the police can request videos up to 12 hours of video posted in 45 hours, and also, they can only ask for video clips within 0.5 square miles only.
Markey even gave a statement which states that the number of responses received so far, showed that Ring is an “open door for privacy and civil liberty violations.” In addition to his statement, the Senator even said, “Connected doorbells are well on their way to becoming a mainstay of American households, and the lack of privacy and civil rights protections for innocents residents is nothing chilling.” This particular statement clearly shows that the company fails in giving even basic safety features to its users.
“If you are an adult walking your dog or a child playing on the sidewalk, you should not have to worry that Ring’s products are amassing footage of you nad that law enforcement may hold that footage indefinitely or share that footage with any third parties.” In addition to the above-stated restrictions, Ring even says that it will not share any videos which are shared by kids below 13 years of age, which further ensures the safety feature, the company is trying to enable.
Furthermore, the company even says that the cameras will not record beyond the boundary of the house and will neither record any public views, as stated in the above statement.
The spokesperson of Ring, Chevon Lewis, stated that “Ring users place their trust in us to help protect their homes and communities, and we take that responsibility very seriously.” This shows that Ring is trying its best to improve its security features and privacy policies, and with the collaboration with the police forces, Ring is taking care that no video footage is delivered accidentally and that there is no video clip leakage.
There were even cases where the video cameras and Amazon Echo also helped in catching a murderer. Reechard Crespo and Silvia Galva were fighting in their room, which ended up with Crespo killing Galva. Though a friend of Galva stated that she heard them arguing, the police wanted to get a solid proof of the case, and they turned towards Alexa. The police get the warrant to listen to the recordings of Echo devices, which turned out to have recorded everything, due to which Crespo got the punishment that he deserved.
Though these devices are helpful in the way of catching criminals and preventing crime, they are even dangerous as they interfere with our personal lives, stealing us off our privacy, ensuring that it is for our good. For now, we can only hope that Ring sticks to its restrictions and allows its users the privacy that they need,