Amazon’s Practice of Using User Ring Video Footage Questioned

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There is no doubt the advantage that security cameras can provide when watching out for the safety of your home. Security cameras have always provided that, but now that they easily hook up to our computers and phones, as well as a smart home system, it just adds that much more value to them.

However, Amazon is being called into question for their practice of sharing videos from their Ring Doorbell Camera users, with people suggesting that they were attempting to profit from a homeowner’s attempted break-in.

Amazon Shares Ring Doorbell Camera Footage of Theft

Amazon doesn’t just have the Ring security camera, they also have the “Neighbors” app. This is a community of their users. It’s not integral to the use of the camera and is used on an opt-in basis. Users can share videos of suspected wrongdoing on their doorsteps to alert other users in the area to what was recorded by their Ring Doorbell.

Recently, Amazon shared one of their user’s videos of a woman who was expected to be a thief to a promoted post on Facebook. They asked residents of the California area, “Do you recognize this woman?”

This, of course, caused this video to go viral with everyone wanting to learn the identity of this suspected thief.

A Ring spokesperson referred to this as a supported feature and called it a “Community Alert” that helps “keep neighborhoods safe by encouraging the community to work directly with local police on active cases.’

The statement went on to say that the alerts are created from the Neighbors app for incidents with a verified police report case number. “We get the explicit consent of the Ring customer before the content is posted,” vowed the spokesperson.

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Questions Raised

However, Ring’s practice does raise questions. In today’s Internet age with the propensity for things to go viral, once this is posted to social media, this person’s face on the video has just been seen by an untold number of people. And if they weren’t actually committing a crime, Ring has just damaged their reputation.

It’s one thing for the police to do it to help them solve a case or for a homeowner to do it because they assumably don’t have the same social media reach as Amazon. but for Ring, a division of Amazon to do it?

Additionally, the question is raised of whether Amazon is profiting off a customer’s misfortune. They say they don’t share videos unless getting user permission, but I am sure there are people who may doubt that.

There’s no question the valuable help Ring Doorbell Cameras provide, but should Amazon be able to share footage under the guise of trying to help prevent further crime? What is your opinion? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell

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Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura hails from the Chicago area and has been a writer and editor covering news, entertainment, and technology for nearly 20 years and has been with Onlinetivity since its inception, editing and covering news. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new devices and mobile apps.