Police can request Ring videos up to 45 days old and keep them indefinitely


TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Back in August, it was revealed that Ring has partnerships with hundreds of US police forces, allowing them access to Ring doorbell and motion camera footage for use in investigations. Amazon stressed that it only shared the clips after a valid and binding legal demand from authorities and that owners can decline the requests, but it hasn’t placated privacy advocates.

The news prompted Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) to write to Amazon, asking for more details on how it protected the privacy of those that appeared in the camera footage.

Markey has released Amazon’s response to his concerns. A letter from its vice president of public policy, Brian Huseman, states that when requesting video, police must include a specific case number for the crime they are investigating, but other details or evidence aren’t required. They can also ask for up to 12 hours of content from the last 45 days and for footage within a maximum of 0.5 miles.

It seems Markey wasn’t pleased with the response. “Connected doorbells are well on their way to becoming a mainstay of American households, and the lack of privacy and civil rights protections for innocent residents is nothing short of chilling,” he said.

“If you’re an adult walking your dog or a child playing on the sidewalk, you shouldn’t have to worry that Ring’s products are amassing footage of you and that law enforcement may hold that footage indefinitely or share that footage with any third parties.”

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TechSpot Chancellor
"Amazon stressed that it only shared the clips after a valid and binding legal demand from authorities and that owners can decline the requests, but it hasn’t placated privacy advocates."

This is no different than any other media request by law enforcement. The headline to this article is misleading. They can't request videos without a search warrant and without the owner's permission. Big difference than Amazon just arbitrarily handing over video without the owner's knowledge or permission.


TS Evangelist
I bet this will be tested in the courts.

I am usually totally against anything like this. In the past week, there was a case where a kidnapping was caught by an Amazon Ring camera - https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-ring-video-captures-texas-woman-kidnapping-2019-6/
For something like this, it would seem that it would not be difficult for the police to get a court order quickly enough to make it count. I think that in all cases, a court order for the video should be a necessity, and unless it is required to be archived as part of a court case, I do not think they should be able to keep these videos.

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
"police can ask users for videos up to 45 days old and 12 hours long, keep them forever, and share them with anyone without providing evidence of a crime."

I have no problem as long as a Judge issues an order, the owner or assigned designee of the residence and/or property also grants permission and the evidence is returned to the owner or distroyed at the conclusion of prosecution. But there is absolutely NO reason that police should be keeping them and especially not sharing them without some kind of criminal activity indicated. This is blatant violation of privacy, theft of property and, considering the quality of police these days, pandering without a license ....

Bullwinkle M

TS Addict
"Privacy advocates aren't happy"

You aren't an advocate if you have one of these, or any other purposeful monitoring device.
I don't see why privacy advocates are unhappy about this

If you have a Ring Doorbell, you do not control the video, Amazon does

You gave up your privacy by purchasing this device

I would like some verification if this story is based on facts

> What specific privacy advocate is unhappy about this <

I can see how criminals would be unhappy about this, but privacy advocates who want to be protected from criminals? Why are they unhappy, knowing that they threw away their privacy when they bought the dang thing?

Please specify a single privacy advocate that is angry about this and stop making up stories about "some guy said"



TechSpot Addict
Yeah, if I"m to believe the TV ads, the Ring doorbell makes people run at the very sight of it..

Were I a thief, I'd put up my black hoodie, walk backwards up to the door and spray the damned hing with black paint, while having a partner call in, "man with a gun", on the other side of the precinct.

(At least if I could find a payphone. They still have those, don't they)? :confused:

Yes-sirree, you could hook up your ring to Alexa and willingly forfeit any privacy you might have had in the past. Bezos and the police would know every time you farted. Just pray to god farting isn't outlawed, and the police don't put together compilation tapes of your flatulence to be used as evidence. :eek:
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TS Ambassador
Anyone actually installed one and configured it??

Sensitivity can be reduced to basically your front door and you don't have to share with the neighborhood -- in fact highly suggested you DO NOT! The D**N thing interrupts with every dogwalker and it will drive you crazy!

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