Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Hundreds of Police Departments With Deadly Histories Partner with Amazon’s Ring Surveillance Cameras

Partnerships Include Agencies Responsible for Over 30% of Fatal Encounters Over the Last Five Years.
WASHINGTON -

Research by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) shows that hundreds of U.S. police departments with deadly histories have official partnerships with Amazon’s Ring—a home-surveillance company that makes it easy to send video footage to law enforcement.

Ring sells networked cameras, often bundled with doorbells or lighting, that record video when they register movement and then send notifications to owners’ cell phones. Ring’s partnerships allow police to seek access to private video footage directly from residents through a special web portal. Ring now works with over 1400 agencies, adding 600 in the last six months alone. An analysis of data from Ring, Fatal Encounters, and Mapping Police Violence shows that roughly half of the agencies that Ring has partnered with had fatal encounters in the last five years. In fact, those departments have been responsible for over a third of fatal police encounters nationwide, including the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Alton Sterling, Botham Jean, Antonio Valenzuela, Michael Ramos, and Sean Monterrosa.

“At a time when communities are more concerned than ever before about their relationship with law enforcement, these partnerships encourage an atmosphere of mistrust and could allow for near-constant surveillance by local police,” said EFF Digital Strategist Jason Kelley. “These partnerships make it all too easy for law enforcement to harass, arrest, or detain someone who is simply exercising their legal rights to free expression—for example, by walking through a neighborhood, protesting in their local community, or canvassing for a political campaign.”

Recently, Nextdoor’s Forward to Police feature, which allows users to share their posts or urgent alerts directly with law enforcement, was ended as part of the company’s “anti-racism” work. EFF calls on Ring to do the same by ending their partnerships with law enforcement agencies.

“People across the nation are calling for policing reform,” said Kelley. “Amazon has acknowledged this important movement, and stopped selling its face recognition tool called Rekognition to police for one year. But that concession means nothing to the public if the company continues to expedite police access to home surveillance footage through Ring.”

For the full report:
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/07/amazons-ring-enables-over-policing-efforts-some-americas-deadliest-law-enforcement

For EFF’s petition to Amazon:
https://act.eff.org/action/tell-amazon-ring-to-end-its-dangerous-police-partnerships

###

Electronic Frontier Foundation logo

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. EFF's mission is to ensure that technology supports freedom, justice, and innovation for all people of the world.

UN Chief Reminds Leaders of Need for 'Clear and Unambiguous Commitment' to 1.5°C

"There is no pathway to this goal without the leadership of the G20," he said after a disagreement over a climate communiqué.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Climate Change Is Here,' Says Oregon Governor, 'And We Have to Take Action'

As wildfires devour her state, the Democrat declares that the climate emergency is "like a hammer hitting us in the head."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Hello Somebody!' Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Campaigns for Nina Turner in Cleveland

"I think it's extremely clear that Nina Turner is the candidate in this race that answers to the people of Ohio first and foremost."

Jessica Corbett ·


Medicare for All Advocates Take to the Streets of Over 50 US Cities

"How can we have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when we live in constant fear of illness, bankruptcy, or homelessness because of the outrageous for-profit healthcare system?"

Jessica Corbett ·


Thousands Join Budapest Pride Parade to Protest Attacks on LGBTQ+ Hungarians

"A lot has happened over the last few years, and it's time to show that we're not okay with it," said one of the organizers.

Jessica Corbett ·