In response to recent questions from Senator Ed Markey, Amazon admitted that it provided user material to police 11 times this year, in violation of its position that law enforcement agencies can only gain access to a camera owner’s recordings with their express permission or a court order. Ring is Amazon’s surveillance subsidiary.
The revelation follows Markey’s letter to Amazon last month calling for clarification on Ring’s expanding relationship with American Police.
While Ring only makes its policy of handling camera footage public if the owner agrees or if a judge signs a search warrant, the company also reserves the right to make footage available to police in “emergencies.”
Markey asked to clarify exactly what constituted such an “emergency situation” and how often audiovisual surveillance was provided in such situations.
Amazon did not elaborate on how it defines these emergencies beyond the “imminent danger of death or serious physical injury.” adding that only “Ring makes a good-faith determination whether the request meets the well-known standard.”
Following the revelation, Matthew Guariglia, a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, implore Ring owners concerned about warrantless access to their cameras to enable end-to-end encryption. Despite being urged to make the option the default setting, the company refused to do so.
The sources for this piece include an article in TheIntercept.