Ring, the smart doorbell company owned by Amazon, has a startling level of power over the police departments it contracts with.
In contracts reviewed by Gizmodo, Amazon retains the right to craft and approve any messaging that these police departments send to the public or media outlets about Ring cameras or its accompanying neighborhood watch app. The secret deals are a troubling sign for just how much control Amazon has acquired over local police departments.
An Amazon representative contacted Futurism to push back on some of the claims made in our article about the investigation — but ironically, the representative provided specific talking points and requested we paste them in our article, but ignored a request to review any evidence supporting the company’s claims or any of its police department contracts.
Amazon’s contracts with police department state that any press releases, public statements, or social media posts need to be approved by the company, per Gizmodo. Ring representatives will also write sample tweets and distribute them to police departments.
Dozens of police departments have copied and posted those Neighbors-promoting tweets verbatim, Gizmodo reports, and are often incentivized to do so through free or discounted cameras for their towns.
READ MORE: Everything Cops Say About Amazon’s Ring Is Scripted or Approved by Ring [Gizmodo]