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Security & privacy

You can stop police from asking for your Ring doorbell videos – here’s how

We’ve seen a lot of news about Ring video doorbells lately. None of it good.

For example, we recently learned hackers found a way to take control of Ring devices that have microphones and built-in cameras. Not only that, but thousands of Ring passwords were leaked online. Tap or click here for all the gory details.

Now, Ring is making headlines again and this time it’s a bit more controversial. People seem to be divided on where they stand on the issue. So what happened, exactly?

Security or privacy?

Last year, we told you about a partnership between Amazon and hundreds of police departments around the country. Tap or click here if you need a refresher.

What’s happening is police have access to special features on Ring devices that are not available to customers. They use these features to look at videos captured by Ring video doorbells to help solve crimes that take place in the area. This sounds like a good idea, right?

You may also like: 3 settings you must change on your Ring video doorbell

To access your videos, police are able to send you a notification requesting permission. They do this with a feature called “Video Requests.” You have to grant them permission before they can actually watch your camera’s footage.

Well, some people aren’t excited about the idea of police being able to see everything going on in the neighborhood. They think this type of surveillance network could be the start of “Big Brother,” always watching you and everything you do.

Amazon listened to those concerns and recently updated the Ring app with a way for customers to opt-out of this program.

Change this setting to secure your videos

If police are looking for videos from Ring devices in your area, you might receive a notification asking for help. There is a setting in the Ring app that you can turn off if you don’t want to receive these notifications. Here’s how to adjust it:

  • Open the Ring app.
  • Open the settings menu by tapping it on the top left corner of the app.
  • Select Control Center.
  • Slide the toggle next to Video Requests to the left. This turns the feature off. (Note: Video Requests are on in the default settings.)
  • You’ll see a verification message. Tap Yes, Disable Now.

That’s it, the Video Requests feature is now off. Keep in mind, if you post videos publicly on sites like Facebook, law enforcement will be able to see them.

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