Report: Ring passes videos on to German police

A Ring spokesman is said to have confirmed that Ring would release video recordings to the German police without a court order. Under these conditions.

The ring belonging to Amazon –

best known for its video doorbells

– also passes on video recordings to the German police without a court order and without the consent of Ring customers. The Handelsblatt reports. A spokesman for Ring confirmed this to the Handelsblatt.

But that is only the case “if law enforcement can prove an immediate threat and time is short,” as the Handelsblatt quotes an Amazon spokesman as saying. Such “urgent requests are rare,” but the spokesman does not give an exact number. So it remains unknown how many times Amazon/Ring has already passed video footage from Ring cameras to the German police.

As early as July 2022, the report circulated that Ring would pass video recordings to the US police even without a court order. Therefore, on July 15, 2022, we asked Amazon explicitly whether this was also the case in Germany. However, a US spokeswoman for Ring didn’t specifically answer our question, only writing an evasive statement that left more questions than answers: “It’s just not true that Ring gives anyone unrestricted access to customer data or videos as we have repeatedly made clear to our customers and others (editor’s note: Ring here denies something that no one has claimed at all and was not the subject of our inquiry) Ring reserves the right to immediately respond to government authorities, when the Company believes that an emergency involving a risk of death or serious physical injury to a person, such as kidnapping or attempted assassination, warrants prompt disclosure.” The ring spokeswoman completely ignored our question as to whether this also applies to Germany.

Incidentally, Google behaved differently, which openly admitted to us that it would also make the recordings of its Nest cameras available to the German police in justified emergencies without a prior court order. At that time, however, the German police had not yet requested video material from Nest, as Google emphasized. You can read more about this in Google: German police gain access to Nest videos – Amazon’s ring is silent.

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