Police and other safety agencies and authorities will no longer be allowed to request Ring camera footage from Amazon to help with investigations, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.
Amazon said that it is removing the “Request for Assistance” tool in its Neighbors app that authorities have used to request footage from Ring cameras in different communities.
“Public safety agencies like fire and police departments can still use the Neighbors app to share helpful safety tips, updates, and community events,” said Eric Kuhn, Head of Neighbors at Amazon, in a company blog post. “They will no longer be able to use the RFA tool to request and receive video in the app. Public safety agency posts are still public, and will be available for users to view on the Neighbors app feed and on the agency’s profile.”
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Ring, which is most known for its user-friendly home camera and doorbell devices, was acquired by Amazon in a deal that cost a reported $1 billion back in 2015. The company’s founder, Jamie Siminoff, famously left the “Shark Tank” without a deal in 2013, and later returned as a guest Shark in 2018.
In 2021, Amazon went public with the news of law enforcement’s ability to request footage to help with investigations in the Neighbors app.
Neighbors launched in 2017 as a community for Ring users to see what was happening in real-time around their neighborhoods, especially in times of crime, natural disaster, or other crises.
Amazon is coming off of a strong Q3 2023, increasing 13% in revenue amid cost-cutting initiatives that have resulted in hundreds of layoffs mass layoffs.
Amazon was up an astounding 60% year over year as of Thursday afternoon.
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