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Ring to Stop Allowing Police to Request Videos From Security Cameras

Ring to Stop Allowing Police to Request Videos From Security Cameras

Ring, a maker of internet-connected cameras that is owned by Amazon, said the police could no longer ask people to share video recordings using the company’s app, Neighbors.

Ring, a home security camera company owned by Amazon, said that it would stop letting police departments request users’ footage in its app amid longstanding concerns from privacy advocates about the company’s relationship with law enforcement.

Eric Kuhn, the general manager of subscriptions and software for the Ring app Neighbors, announced on Wednesday that the company was shutting down a feature that allowed the police to request and receive videos from users of the app, a social platform similar to Nextdoor and Citizen where people can share alerts about crime near their home.

Mr. Kuhn did not say why Ring was eliminating the app feature, which allowed the police to ask the public for help with active investigations under a special category of posts called “Request for Assistance.”

People could respond to the posts by sending the police videos that may be relevant to an investigation without the police needing to seek a warrant.

The “Request for Assistance” feature was introduced in June 2021 to provide users with more information about how local law enforcement was using Ring to collect information.

People could also opt out of receiving those types of posts on the app. Before, the police was able to send private email requests for footage to Ring users in an area of interest, not just people who used the Neighbors app.

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