Ring launches pilot program to let local agencies share updates and ‘safety information’ • TechCrunch
ring today announced that local government agencies will be able to have an official presence on the company’s Neighbors app.
Starting with the City of North Port and Pinellas County in Florida and the City of Fulton in New York, the new program will enable government organizations to provide secure information through Neighbors, the neighborhood tracking feature. proximity of the Amazon-owned company to alert users to alleged people nearby. crime and events.
“Local government agencies, such as county and city governments and their departments, play an important role in public safety,” Ring wrote in a published blog post. in the afternoon. “This pilot program will allow users in select cities to receive additional safety information, updates and tips from a broader group of local agencies, all in one place.”
Participating local government agencies will have public profiles in Neighbors that users can access to view their activity and posts. Ring notes that the program will not allow agencies to make a “Request for Assistance” against Neighbors, a capability that allows law enforcement to ask the public for assistance in an active investigation. . For now, that will remain for police departments that have partnered with Ring.
The new Ring program, while helpful on the surface, is unlikely to win over consumer advocates, who have argued that the company’s devices are a security threat. As TechCrunch previously reported, Ring has a history share footage with the government without the user’s permission. Between January and July of this year alone, Amazon shared doorbell footage with US authorities 11 times without notifying device owners.
The ring has been criticize to work rigid with thousands of police departments across the United States, allowing police to request video doorbell camera footage from homeowners through Neighbors. Ring only began disclosing its connections to law enforcement after the US government sent ask for transparency From the company.