Ring retools Neighbors app to make police access more transparent

The home security company will now require all police requests to be public

Police requests go public in Neighbors app
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Ring is retooling its controversial Neighbors community safety app to provide greater transparency when local authorities request video clips from its users.

Starting this week, Ring says that police, fire and other public safety agencies will only be able to request information or video from users's Ring devices - such as video doorbells or security cameras - through a public post. They will no longer be able to contact users privately through the app.

Read this: The best video doorbells

A new post category on Neighbors is being introduced called “Request for Assistance.” Here, public safety agencies can notify residents in a neighborhood of an incident and ask for help related to their investigation.

Only verified agencies can use this post format and all posts will be publicly viewable in the Neighbors feed and logged on the agency’s public profile.

Ring

Ring says it has put extensive guideline in place designed to prevent overly broad requests, and each post must have a case number and agency contact information, be limited to a 12 hour timeframe, and only encompass an area between 0.025 and .5 miles. You can see the full details of these at Ring's support site.

If you see a post that you think you can provide video or information for, you can click on the link and from there share your video privately or get contact information to reach out to the agency directly.

Read this: Smart home companies are turning us all into crime fighters

You will only see posts from your local authorities in your feed, and if you previously opted out of Video Request you won't see Request for Assistance Posts.

If you didn't opt out and want to now, you can choose to remove Request for Assistance posts from your feed.

Ring's Neighbors app is both a standalone app and an optional feed inside the main Ring app used to control Ring's devices, such as cameras, a security system, and smart lighting.

It's designed as a neighborhood social media platform where people can share information and alerts as well as post videos from their cameras. You don't have to have a Ring device, or any security cameras to join; anyone who lives in the vicinity can log in and view and send alerts about suspicious activity in their neighborhood.

TAGGED    security cameras

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