Photo: Jessica Hill Archives Associated Press “The ability for law enforcement to use the Neighbors app to mass request footage from camera owners has always been dangerous and has had the proven effect of exacerbating racial profiling,” said Evan Greer, from Fight for the Future. Pictured is a Ring doorbell camera, 2019.
France Media Agency in San Francisco
January 24, 2024
- United States
Amazon announced Wednesday that law enforcement would no longer be able to ask individuals who have Ring-connected cameras to send videos directly to them, a victory for human rights groups.
Police and firefighters “will [still] be able to use the Neighbors app to share helpful safety tips, information and events,” the group said American in a press release.
But “they will no longer be able to use the support request tool to request and receive videos in the application”.
Amazon markets under the Ring brand a range of products ranging from doorbells with integrated cameras to alarms for doors and windows.
They allow you to see and control remotely what is happening in front of your home, particularly in the event of delivery, package theft or intrusion.
But certain uses of these cameras and the neighborhood application have for years worried associations defending public liberties and human rights, such as Fight for the Future.
Its director, Evan Greer, hailed Amazon's decision as an “unquestionable victory”.
“The ability for law enforcement to use the Neighbors app to mass request footage from camera owners has always been dangerous and has had the proven effect of exacerbating racial profiling “, she explained.
A “world covered in cameras”
Amazon made this announcement among others, including the addition of typical social network features to facilitate the sharing of entertaining videos and photos, on mutual aid between neighbors or appearances of wild animals, for example.< /p>
According to Evan Greer, this press release “reveals Ring’s true ambitions. They envision a world covered in cheap cameras made by Amazon, where people constantly monitor each other and share content, whether it's a “nice moment” or a violent crime. »
The images “will always be accessible to the police by other means, particularly in municipalities with a camera register,” she stressed.
Last May, Amazon agreed to pay more than $30 million to the US Consumer Protection Agency (FTC) to end lawsuits against Ring and Alexa products over data privacy violations. users.
According to the FTC, Ring had given access to all customer videos to all group employees and hundreds of contractors based in Ukraine, “whether or not they needed it to perform their tasks” .
“We cannot rely on Amazon to protect our personal data and our civil rights. We need laws,” said Evan Greer.