Amazon's Ring Will No Longer Allow Police to Ask Users for Doorbell Camera Footage

Authorities will need a search warrant or subpoena to obtain video from users.

Image via Getty/Justin Sullivan

Police will not be able to use the Neighbors app on Amazon's Ring to request doorbell camera footage going forward.

In a blog post Wednesday, Ring announced the shuttering of the Request for Assistance tool, which was used by authorities to obtain footage from users' devices. "Public safety agencies like fire and police departments can still use the Neighbors app to share helpful safety tips, updates, and community events," the post reads.

According to CNBC, authorities will need a search warrant or subpoena in order to acquire footage.

The change comes after the departure of Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff last year. Siminoff deflected concerns over the feature in a 2019 interview with CBS, saying users can choose to accept or deny a request from the police. However, such a stance ignores the potential power of persuasion and intimidation.

Despite giving users "complete control" of their videos, Siminoff appeared more than willing to allow police to utilize the tool for their benefit. "My goal would be to have every law enforcement agency on the police portal," he said. "It helps all communities come together to make things safer."

The blog post introduces the launch of Ring Moments, a new feature that goes "beyond just crime and safety."

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