Amazon admitted that it has shared video footage from Ring doorbell cameras to law enforcement without a warrant or permission from the owners.
Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of public policy, made the admission in a letter to Senator Ed Markey, who asked the company to provide details about its relationship with police departments across the country.
While Amazon routinely shares the video footage captured by Ring doorbell and security cameras, it must have either a warrant or permission from the owner. In the letter, Huseman said that Ring “reserves the right to respond immediately to urgent law enforcement requests for information,” noting that exceptions can be made in “an exigent or emergency” circumstance.
Huseman explained that the company has shared footage without a warrant or permission 11 times this year. He did not provide details about the individual cases.
“Ring made a good-faith determination that there was an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to a person requiring disclosure of information without delay,” Huseman wrote.
Markey responded to the letter and said he is concerned about the cozy relationship between tech companies and law enforcement.
“As my ongoing investigation into Amazon illustrates, it has become increasingly difficult for the public to move, assemble, and converse in public without being tracked and recorded,” Markey said in a statement.
“We cannot accept this as inevitable in our country,” the statement continued. “Increasing law enforcement reliance on private surveillance creates a crisis of accountability, and I am particularly concerned that biometric surveillance could become central to the growing web of surveillance systems that Amazon and other powerful tech companies are responsible for.”