Amazon Ring camera network now has 2,000 police and fire partners

Smart doorbells are convenient not just because they connect to the Internet but because they can also take photos and videos of who's at the door. Many of these rely on motion sensors to trigger their cameras which, in turn, can often have a wider and farther view than just what's immediately in front of your door. That has made these smart video doorbells interesting for law enforcers and almost 2,000 of these are now enlisted as partners that can request a copy of what the Amazon Ring may or may not have seen.

Although there are a number of smart video doorbells now in the market, Amazon's Ring has become both popular and notorious for different reasons. Bearing Amazon's name has put it up on a pedestal above other brands and that popularity has made it almost ubiquitous. That, in turn, makes it an ideal tool in the eyes of police and fire departments across the US.

The Amazon Ring gained some negative publicity because Amazon was reportedly too cooperative when it comes to fulfilling requests from authorities to gain access to Ring camera data stored on its servers. Ever since news broke out, over 2,000 departments, both police and fire, have been added to the network of entities that can request a copy of such data. According to the Financial Times' report, as much as 62 have been added in just the last month alone.

The slightly good news is that Amazon's rate of compliance has also reportedly dropped to 57% in 2020, at least compared to their performance in 2019. Requests are denied when Amazon determines it's either too broad or inappropriate. Amazon also regularly deletes older videos so it naturally can't provide those that have expired already.

Amazon Ring's network remains controversial for privacy advocates, despite and especially because of the smart video doorbell's popularity. Authorities are hoping that the cameras may help in gathering evidence in criminal acts but there are anecdotes and figures on both sides disputing or confirming their actual usefulness in aiding investigation.