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    Privacy and Ring Doorbells

    For those of you who are concerned about Big Brother and his private sector cousins. Yes, I am an Amazon whore and buy from them frequently if only to save myself the hassle of entering my CC info a dozen times in different sites, but I would be caught dead having an Alexa, Dot, or equivalent or anything with a camera attached to a database that I can't control. But that's just me. You do you.

    Like it or not, Amazon can give Ring footage to cops without your permission — or even a warrant.

    Amazon’s Ring privacy problem is back


    Like it or not, Amazon can give Ring footage to cops without your permission — or even a warrant.

    By Sara Morrison Updated Jul 13, 2022, 6:32pm EDT Share this story Ring is always watching. Amazon
    Despite what you might think (or were told), your Amazon Ring camera might be giving video data to police without your knowledge or consent.

    Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey revealed on Wednesday — during Amazon’s Prime Day event — that Amazon admitted to sending footage to police without a court order or users’ permission 11 times this year alone. While the number is relatively small, this is also the first time the company has said that it released data this way, according to Politico. It’s also a reminder that if your data is out there and under the control of someone else — Amazon, for instance — you have little or no say over whether law enforcement gets it.

    Markey has been concerned about Ring’s partnerships with law enforcement and privacy issues for years. “As my ongoing investigation into Amazon illustrates, it has become increasingly difficult for the public to move, assemble, and converse in public without being tracked and recorded,” he said in a statement.

    His concerns are not unfounded: Amazon’s partnership with law enforcement agencies, which gives them access to its portal to request user data, has greatly expanded since its inception. There were 405 police departments in the program in August 2019. There are now 2,161.

    But the police’s access pales in comparison to Amazon’s. The company also has vast sets of data on what we buy and where we live, and has a burgeoning ad business that uses your data to target ads to you on Amazon and beyond. The company also recently rolled out Amazon Sidewalk, a controversial service that connects certain Echo and Ring devices to each other unless the user opts out. It all adds up to a massive and powerful conglomerate that knows more about many of us than just about any other company — including who’s on our doorsteps or strolling past our homes.

    The Ring camera footage was sent in response to emergency requests, which are supposed to be made only when there’s a belief that serious harm or death will result if the footage isn’t released immediately. Police request the data, but it’s up to Amazon to decide whether to release the footage, as well as if the request is legitimate. Bloomberg recently revealed that people pretending to be law enforcement have been able to trick companies, including Meta, Apple, and Google, into giving them data this way.

    “There will always be reasons why, in emergency situations, authorities might seek live access to cameras but people have the right to be skeptical when police and Ring, behind closed doors, get to decide what reasons meet a threshold of an ‘emergency’ and allow police to get warrantless access to their personal devices,” Matthew Guariglia, policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Recode. Guariglia recommended that users turn on Ring’s end-to-end encryption feature if they’re concerned about police having unfettered access to their data.

    Ring says in its law enforcement guidelines, which are buried in its support documents, that it may send footage to law enforcement in case of emergencies. Ring also sends user data and footage to law enforcement in response to court orders, as does every company that has data for police to get. Amazon recently revealed that it received more than 3,100 legal demands for data in 2021, an increase of 65 percent from the year before. The reports did not say how many of those demands the company provided responses to. While Ring says it tells users if law enforcement requests their information, it may be legally prohibited from doing so. Users were only notified of about 648 requests.

    Amazon also said that while customers have the option of turning audio recordings off during video recording, it would not make that the default because customers may never look at their settings to know to turn it on. Which, by extension, means many customers don’t look at their settings to know that audio can be turned off. The company also told Markey that Ring “does not currently offer voice recognition.” That’s not a commitment to never offer it in the future, which Markey had asked for.

    “Increasing law enforcement reliance on private surveillance creates a crisis of accountability, and I am particularly concerned that biometric surveillance could become central to the growing web of surveillance systems that Amazon and other powerful tech companies are responsible for,” Markey said.

    Ring spokesperson Brendan Daley told Recode that Ring doesn’t offer “unfettered access” to customer data to anyone, including law enforcement.

    “The law authorizes companies like Ring to provide information to government entities if the company believes that an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person, such as a kidnapping or an attempted murder, requires disclosure without delay,” the spokesperson added. “Ring faithfully applies that legal standard.”

    For years, Amazon has talked up its Ring smart doorbell and security system partnerships with police departments across the country. Although privacy advocates worried that Amazon was creating its own national surveillance network, Amazon maintained that Ring was a way for customers to feel more safe and secure in their own homes. And while Amazon offered police departments a portal through which they could access users’ Ring device footage when they deemed necessary, the company assured users that police could only get that footage with the users’ knowledge and permission. That’s never been entirely true, as the company’s letter to Markey made more apparent than ever.

    Legislators and regulators have tried to rein Amazon in, but there seem to be significant limits on what they can actually do or how effective those measures will be. If the government and agencies won’t or can’t protect consumers’ privacy, Amazon gets to decide how and when to do so, and its business interests are in the data it collects and uses. And that leaves it to the consumer to decide if giving their data up to Amazon is worth the convenience of the products and services it sells in exchange.

    Update, July 13, 6:30 pm ET: This story has been updated to include Amazon’s statement.
    "The devil doesn't come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you've ever wished for.”
    Tucker Max

    Infirmitate Invitat Violentiam
    Finicky Fat Guy

    #2
    And? Who cares?

    Comment


    • Finicky Fat Guy
      Finicky Fat Guy commented
      Editing a comment
      People who don't like the idea of the government invading their privacy without a warrant or using their data without a warrant or a third party turning over private information without consent. Note that it the post was addressed to those who are concerned about privacy. If that's not you, don't waste your time expressing an irrelevant opinion. Or better yet, spare those who may be interested in the issue your irrelevant opinion.

    • rlitman
      rlitman commented
      Editing a comment
      People shouldn't be dumb enough to point their Ring cameras in any direction they expect privacy (inside their homes). Expecting privacy at your doorstep is lunacy, as everyone with a dash-cam at the curb has the same view.

    • Grifhunter
      Grifhunter commented
      Editing a comment
      This ^

    #3
    Does this also apply to dash cams or body cams even though AFAIK Alexa is not part of that technology?
    Exercise the Bill of Rights. It's good for your Constitution.

    Comment


    • Finicky Fat Guy
      Finicky Fat Guy commented
      Editing a comment
      If it's connected to the internet, yes. Maybe not the specifics of the article but if your dash cam is saving video and audio to the web where you can view it from home, then someone can view it and give it to the government just like data from a Ring or Nest.

    #4
    Don’t get the idea of a ring camera.

    I look out the window and see who it is.

    Fucking answering the door has become such a big deal.

    Comment


    • Barnslayer
      Barnslayer commented
      Editing a comment
      Sprinklers? What...no zoysia?

    • rlitman
      rlitman commented
      Editing a comment
      Zoysia. LOL. Remember the yellow advertising page for zoysia in the Saturday papers? One day, my mother got on a zoysia kick and decided she should get it. Well from that point on, my father and I conspired to tear that page out before she got her paper, and miraculously the subject of zoysia was silently dropped for over a decade until one day we were both ill on the same morning, and the #!$%!^& sheet slipped through. Their lawn never looked the same after that. It went from bad to just WOW bad.

      My own irrigation system is mostly focused on my perennials and solar salespeople.

    • pequa1
      pequa1 commented
      Editing a comment
      What is with the zoysia hate ? I only have to mow my lawn from the last week of May and maybe twice in October. Don't pollute the aquifer with fertilize, grubicide, herbicide, fungucide, etc. Watered it once this year so far and maybe twice all last year. You guys will be sorry when your illegals can no longer use fertilizer to cover up their mistakes or Guatemalan hairdryers to clean up. Maybe not next year, but the days of those noisy gas machines are numbered.

    #5
    I love my Ring cameras. I only have them on the exterior. Not crazy about them sharing my videos though without permission. I would probably share them if asked.
    NRA, NYSRPA, GOA, NYSFA, SCOPE, SAFE, FOP Lodge 124, AOH Div 7.

    Comment


      #6
      Although I know Google is evil, I still use nest cameras around my property and in a few strategic locations within my house. There is one location I'm not keen about anyone having access to, but I've given more weight to the piece of mind I have in security using the 24/7/10 day recording and being able to view it from anywhere/anytime.
      NRA Pistol Instructor
      Life Member:
      Gun Owners of America, American Suppressor Association,
      National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation

      Comment


        #7
        Just remember if you have a smart phone they know everything about you they know all your contacts everywhere you go what route you take everybody you call every text you send every email they know all your shopping they know what you’ve purchased and what sites you’ve gone to and what your favorite porn is. I’m not greatly concerned if they also know when the UPS guy delivers packages
        "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.

        Comment


          #8
          Just cover it up when you're adding truckloads of guns to your arsenal or adding to the ammo dump. Ymmv

          Comment


            #9
            Local and other LE agencies can access ring, nest and other security type systems. Subpoena’s and requests are certainly a part of it but agencies have agreements w the host companies and do access cameras in several ways. “Emergency” requests are fairly opaque and I for one have zero trust in Amazon and other tech companies. Government agencies have earned the distinction of not being on my trust list anymore either. It’s not like we can easily hide anymore even if we wanted to.
            As with anything else, buyer beware and remember what Sy Syms used to say…An educated consumer is the best customer!

            For the record, I do have a Ring but I know it’s there and I know where it’s pointed.

            https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/08/ri...nts-neighbors/
            https://www.politico.com/news/2022/0...ssion-00045513

            Comment


              #10
              Originally posted by Huntington Guy View Post
              Local and other LE agencies can access ring, nest and other security type systems. Subpoena’s and requests are certainly a part of it but agencies have agreements w the host companies and do access cameras in several ways. “Emergency” requests are fairly opaque and I for one have zero trust in Amazon and other tech companies. Government agencies have earned the distinction of not being on my trust list anymore either. It’s not like we can easily hide anymore even if we wanted to.
              As with anything else, buyer beware and remember what Sy Syms used to say…An educated consumer is the best customer!

              For the record, I do have a Ring but I know it’s there and I know where it’s pointed.

              https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/08/ri...nts-neighbors/
              https://www.politico.com/news/2022/0...ssion-00045513
              I installed a ring camera in my den pointed at my Recliner.
              i like to watch pornos naked while I eat a bag of Cheetohs .
              they want to spy I say make them pay for it.
              "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.

              Comment


              • Sig
                Sig commented
                Editing a comment
                Hunter?

              • Aquabach
                Aquabach commented
                Editing a comment
                Not Hunter.
                No underage hookers, no cocaine, no meth, and I don't video myself

              #11
              Originally posted by Huntington Guy View Post
              Local and other LE agencies can access ring, nest and other security type systems. Subpoena’s and requests are certainly a part of it but agencies have agreements w the host companies and do access cameras in several ways. “Emergency” requests are fairly opaque and I for one have zero trust in Amazon and other tech companies. Government agencies have earned the distinction of not being on my trust list anymore either. It’s not like we can easily hide anymore even if we wanted to.
              As with anything else, buyer beware and remember what Sy Syms used to say…An educated consumer is the best customer!

              For the record, I do have a Ring but I know it’s there and I know where it’s pointed.

              https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/08/ri...nts-neighbors/
              https://www.politico.com/news/2022/0...ssion-00045513
              Last year I was an ear-witness to a shooting ------ someone shot up into a second floor Apt. ( yet none of the other geezers' here heard shit ) -- the distinct sounds and cadence of a .22 pistol ---- when I told one of the cops responding what I heard & when ---- he asked I hang around for the dicks ---

              The detective----- "How do you know it was a .22" ?

              Showed him my NRA instructors card ----- and explained I taught at many Woman on Target classes ----

              They found in the grass under the window -- 9 - .22 empties --

              "Ones missing ---- I heard 10 shots" --

              And now my point ----------------- there was a ring door bell across the street --- they got the car make & model --- and the plate # --

              Perp making a u-turn in their driveway helped --
              NRA Instructor / RSO & NRA Life Member / S.A.F.E. Armorer / 03-FFL / Moist Nugget gun nut / Ammosexual / And a right wing Republican Jew with guns

              Comment


                #12
                With the price of a DVR these days you can set up your own monitoring system for the entire perimeter of your house without any intrusion
                20220715_094147.jpg
                "Those who beat their swords into plowshares will end up plowing for those who have swords."

                Comment


                • rlitman
                  rlitman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've had one for a long time. It doesn't alert me when there's someone at my door. It cannot distinguish between a person or a package. Yes, they exist, but I don't have that kind of budget.

                • Vitaman
                  Vitaman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  that's odd. most have areas you can designate for email notification

                • rlitman
                  rlitman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I get emails from a PTZ inside my garage (I don't trust Amazon for interior cameras). They suck. Ring's app sends a push that lets me bring up the live view in one click. The echo in my garage will say out loud that motion was detected at my front door, so there's no need to be checking my phone while I'm using my table saw. Heck, I have the motion detection of some ring cameras trigger a change in my exterior lighting scenes. You're just not doing that with a CCTV.

                  That being said, Ring isn't the end-all, and I'm not removing my CCTV NVR and cameras any time soon.

                #13
                NRA Instructor / RSO & NRA Life Member / S.A.F.E. Armorer / 03-FFL / Moist Nugget gun nut / Ammosexual / And a right wing Republican Jew with guns

                Comment


                • rlitman
                  rlitman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I don't think that's something I'd give Ring credit for, even if the camera happened to capture the moment.

                #14
                I don't need or want anyone watching me, however, I think the PD has enough shit to do without needing endless hours of me going out the front door with my ass crack hanging out and me scratching my gut. If they're into that, than maybe I need to consider an ONLY FANS page and sell my shit!
                The escape is nowhere near complete. The inventor of LIBERAL fishing. (soon to be seen on ESPN 45 because the 44th never worked.)

                Comment

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