Ring Cameras May Not Lead To Arrests, Says Police

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Police departments partnered with Ring say that they aren’t sure if the cameras are effective at identifying suspects or leading to arrests. While Ring advertises it’s cameras as making neighborhoods safer and solving crimes, an investigation from NBC News found that many police officers didn’t agree with Ring’s statement that their video doorbells reduce break-ins by 50%. Out of the 40 Ring law enforcement partnerships:

  • Three agencies said that officers spent time reviewing clips that weren’t relevant to crime and didn’t help identifying suspects
  • 13 agencies said that they hadn’t made any arrests based on Ring footage
  • 13 used Ring’s footage to confirm arrests
  • Larger cities like Kansas City, Miami and Phoenix said they weren’t keeping track of the relationship between the number of arrests and Ring’s footage since partnering with Ring over a year ago.
  • 10 agencies said that they thought the cameras deterred crime, although they couldn’t prove through data that the decrease in property crime was directly caused by Ring’s devices.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Outdoor Night Vision

While property crimes like burglaries and package theft are declining across the country, Ring is falsely claiming that their cameras and video doorbells caused this reduction, according to Jodee Reyes, a spokesperson for the police department of Carlsbad, California. Reyes said,

“We don’t have any research data showing that Ring has a correlation to a reduction…Our residential burglary rate began decreasing before Ring gave us access to their portal. There are more than likely many factors that have led to this decrease.”

Ring and Privacy Concerns

Recently, a group of Senators investigated Ring due to their partnerships with over 400 police departments in the United States. Senator Edward J. Markey found that Ring had no security requirements regarding how law enforcement accesses the footage, shares it with third party, stores it, or requests it from users. He also found that Ring wouldn’t commit to not selling users’ biometric data.

While Ring must ask users before they can use their footage in criminal cases, Senator Markey found that Ring uses “discriminatory information-gathering practices” through targeted language. In response, Amazon maintained not only that users must consent to police using their footage, but also that the footage is encrypted and hasn’t been breached or accessed by an unauthorized third party.

FAQs

Does Ring work with police?

Ring does work with the police. They are partnered with 400 police departments across the United States.

Can police access my Ring doorbell?

Police can only access the footage from your Ring camera or video doorbell if you consent to it.

Does Ring reduce crime?

It’s not clear whether Ring reduces crime, although the company claims that it does. A recent investigation by NBC News found that they couldn’t prove that Ring decreased crime.

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.