Amazon has now bonded its Neighbor's app with police agencies to effectively turn private homeowners into snitches for the police.
While Ring cameras have been used to catch some criminals that come to your door, there are huge privacy concerns because the administrators/ controllers have direct access to all cameras in the system. Currently, police are not given full access to homeowner's installed cameras, and homeowners must volunteer to upload videos to their local police department.
Why would anyone think that Amazon would somehow be benevolent with the data its collects? With a demonstrated history of listening in on its Alexa speakers, who would not expect them to do the same with Ring? Furthermore, who would expect Amazon to offer a 'free' app to both homeowners and police without having an ulterior motive to monetize and/or weaponize the data? And, keep in mind that Amazon is creating and selling the most sophisticated facial recognition software in the world… to the same law enforcement agencies.
Amazon is creating the ultimate surveillance grid for law enforcement that will include millions of homeowners in thousands of cities across America.
A Technocracy News reader in San Bernardino, California forwarded to me an email received from the local Sheriff's office:
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is excited to announce our partnership with Ring and the Neighbors App. Detectives and station personnel from across the county completed their training today and our stations are now live. Station staff are able to receive information and interact with residents through the app. Customers with a Ring camera will be able to share videos with their local Sheriff's station. The Neighbors App connects communities with the goal of creating safer and stronger neighborhoods and one of the benefits is you do not need to own a Ring device to use the app.
I could find no public notice of the training that is mentioned above, but it clearly was nationwide and it clearly took place. The result is that the system has gone live.
The following article provides more details about how it all works.
Police partnerships with doorbell-camera company raise privacy questions
Dyana Bagby via Reporter Newspapers
In February, the Dunwoody Police Department sent out an upbeat press release announcing it was the first in Georgia to team up with doorbell-camera company Ring to access the company's Neighbors app. The partnership, the department boasted, could help the department crack down on package thieves, stop burglaries and keep neighborhoods safe.