Amazon's Ring has announced that it will discontinue its cop-friendly practice of providing video footage to law authorities upon request without a formal warrant.
The firm announced several new Neighbors App features and included a link to the amended "Request for Assistance" policy after the post on its official Ring blog. After its blog post headlined "Ring Announces New Neighbors App Features, Sunsets Request for Assistance Post," Ring said, "This week, we are also sunsetting the Request for Assistance (RFA) tool."
The Neighbors app is still available for public safety organizations, such as police and fire departments, to broadcast community events, updates, and useful safety advice. They won't be able to send and receive video through the app using the RFA function any longer. Rewind when law enforcement sought doorbell footage from Amazon, the company shared it without the customer's consent. This practice was initially questioned by US politicians in 2022.
In response to claims at the time that Ring was violating its customers' privacy, Amazon had stated, "Based on the information provided in the emergency request form and the circumstances described by the officer, Ring makes a good-faith determination whether the request meets the well-known standard, grounded in federal law, that there is imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requiring disclosure of information without delay."
The business claimed that year that it had only given authorities requested video in 11 cases. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has since launched an investigation into Amazon's Ring for more customer privacy concerns.
Ring was fined nearly $6 million by the FTC last year for giving its staff and outside contractors unrestricted access to customers' private films, effectively converting the gadgets into live spy cameras. Millions of homes and companies worldwide utilize the well-known home security systems from this e-commerce behemoth as a safety and security measure.