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Amazon shares data from Ring Doorbells with authorities – even when you don’t want to

The smart bells in the Ring series from Amazon are both popular and talked about for how users’ data is shared with police authorities.

A new report indicates that Amazon has an agreement with 2,014 different police authorities today on data sharing from bells in the Ring series.

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Of the total of 2,014 authorities that have entered into agreements with Amazon, 1,189 were added last year alone. It writes the website The Financial Times on its website.

In 2019, that number was 703 and the year before that only 40. Today, only two states in the United States have not at least one authority that cooperates with Amazon on data from the bells.

In total, the police and fire brigade requested videos from 22,235 incidents in 2020 alone.

1,900 denied data sharing – Amazon still shared many videos

Amazon says users of the Ring series can turn off the feature to receive requests for video data from government agencies. However, it is not possible to get away in all situations, for example if the police go through court to retrieve data.

It is worth mentioning that even if the user refuses to release videos requested by the authorities, Amazon can override that decision completely. Of the 1,900 denied requests made by authorities, Amazon chose to release the data anyway – completely against the wishes of users.

So in practice, it does not matter if you choose to refuse disclosure of data.

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Most cases where videos from Ring cameras are used are of the simpler kind and related to property damage. At least according to a report from NBC News in early 2019. Something that of course may have changed until today.

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