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Amazon’s Ring halting video sharing with police beginning Jan. 31

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Posted at 6:59 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 18:59:11-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A new Amazon policy could make it harder for police to gather evidence and do their jobs.

Amazon’s Ring will no longer let police and other government agencies request doorbell camera footage from within the company’s Neighbors app.

Authorities seeking Ring surveillance videos must now submit a formal legal request to the company, rather than soliciting footage directly from users through the app, the company announced Wednesday.

Beginning Jan. 31, law enforcement will no longer be able to make posts asking users to submit footage, though Ring users may continue to respond to existing police requests on the app until Feb. 29.

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“The majority of the time, our community members that want these crimes to be solved are stepping up. They say, ‘Here you go, we will do anything we can to work with you,’” IMPD spokesperson Alexa Boylan said.

Privacy advocates say the move is a long-awaited victory for civil liberties.

However, Amazon tells WRTV that agencies will still be allowed to get the video directly from someone if they are willing to share it.

It’s one of the reasons IMPD says they feel confident in their ability to police successfully moving forward.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck approach when it comes to public safety,” Boylan said. “Police officers alone can’t keep the city safe by themselves, that’s why we have reached out to so many community partners in and around downtown."