Amazon has partnered with more than 200 law enforcement agencies to use its Ring home surveillance system, reports show
- Amazon cooperates with 200 police services in the US
- The company is giving away its surveillance cameras & # 39; s from Ring
- The police distribute the devices among residents to set up surveillance networks
- The number of partnerships is one of the first official figures of the program
Hundreds of US police departments work with Amazon to use its brand of home security equipment as local surveillance networks.
According to a report From Vice, documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request at least 200 partnerships between Amazon & # 39; s security company Ring and local law enforcement agencies.
The number – taken from notes in an e-mail that have been transcribed by a Ring representative – is the first hard piece of data about how many departments work with the company.
Partnerships between Amazon and police are much more productive than before, according to a new report with 200 partnerships in the US.
Previous attempts to quantify the extent of cooperation estimate about three dozen direct partnerships – a number that is clearly far below the actual figures.
Partnerships between the agencies and Amazon usually involve giving the company its compact security cameras – often attached to a person's door – and then equipping them with a & # 39; neighborhood portal & # 39 ;.
The departments are also encouraged to promote the cameras to local residents, with Amazon providing additional units for every person who downloads the Ring app.
Through a dashboard, law enforcement officials are said to be able to geo-screen certain areas and then ask Ring users for footage that they can find valuable.
Earlier reports from CNET suggest that departments have only issued cameras with the warning that customers will share information with law enforcement authorities upon request.
Although Ring & # 39; s cameras have been hailed by the police as useful tools to help criminals in areas where there is otherwise insufficient supervision, privacy experts say that marriage between the police and one of the world's largest companies be wary.
Ring has become popular among users who are looking for a cheap and affordable way to guard their homes.
In combination with an increasingly sophisticated face recognition software – another product offered by Amazon – critics say the camera images can jump further as a tool for tracking people.
Ring already considered integrating such software into their cameras & # 39; s last year – a movement that caused play in privacy groups such as the ACLU.
An important complaint from the ACLU and other organizations such as it is that facial recognition software comes down to investigating topics with no probable cause – everyone who sees the software is dragged into the algorithm.
Ring cameras were already in the middle of police operations that yielded less than desired results.
An extensive stabbing operation designed to arrest thieves stealing packages – first revealed by Vice last month – did not result in arrests.
However, the report shed light on the level of cooperation between law enforcement agencies and Amazon, since both parties worked together to coordinate hypothetical public relations, even if the sting was successful.
WHAT IS RING AND WHY AMAZON Bought?
Amazon has purchased startup Ring for home security for a reported £ 700 million ($ 1 billion).
The home security startup sells doorbells that capture video and audio.
Clips can be streamed on smartphones and other devices, while the doorbell even allows homeowners to chat remotely with those at their door.
Ring sells doorbells (left) that capture video and audio. Clips can be streamed on smartphones and other devices, while the doorbell even allows homeowners to chat remotely with those at their door
Ring promotes its gadgets as a way to catch package thieves, a nuisance that Amazon wanted to remedy.
At the end of last year, Amazon unveiled its own combination of smart locking and camera with the name Amazon Key in a move towards home security.
Key is designed to provide a safe and traceable way for packages that are delivered at home when people are not there.
Amazon has purchased Home Security Startup Ring for a reported £ 700 million ($ 1 billion)
Ring's doorbell can work well with Amazon Key, allowing deliverers to place packages in a home to prevent theft or, in the case of fresh food, spoilage.
California Ring first hit the spotlight with an unsuccessful search for funding about five years ago in the reality TV show Shark Tank.
Ring then won the support of billionaires Richard Branson and Amazon & # 39; s Alexa Fund.
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