Should cops be allowed to tap into your doorbell camera?
A new pilot program in Jackson, Mississippi, could give police real-time access to participating Amazon Ring user's doorbell cameras.
The city plans to use Ring footage, shared like a livestream with law enforcement, as part of its Real Time Crime Center, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba told WLBT. It's the latest step as Ring home security cameras become a policing tool — and has broad privacy implications, even for those who don't opt in.
The 45-day pilot will allow Jackson law enforcement to tap into any participating residents' or businesses' Ring cameras in the area of a reported crime, giving them a view of entire blocks or streets, according to the Associated Press. That means that even if someone doesn't agree to join the program, their neighbors' Ring cameras could give cops a live feed of their homes.
"We'll be able to get a location, draw a circle around it and pull up every camera within a certain radius to see if someone runs out of a building," Lumumba told WLBT. “We can follow and trace them."
Amazon distanced itself from the program in a statement provided to the Electronic Frontier Foundation that asserted that third-party companies were the ones setting up the surveillance network for the company's cameras.
"[Amazon and Ring] are not involved in any way with any of the companies or the city in connection with the pilot program," Amazon told the EFF. "The companies, the police and the city that were discussed in the article do not have access to Ring's systems or the Neighbors App. Ring customers have control and ownership of their devices and videos and can choose to allow access as they wish."
READ MORE: Mississippi program to use door cameras to fight crime [The Associated Press]