Is Big Brother watching? Police departments team up with Ring for video-sharing

Local I-Team

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Thinking about getting one of those high-tech Ring cameras? Think about this. The doorbell camera company has forged new video-sharing partnerships with more than 400 police departments across the country.

Some consider it a powerful tool in a new type of neighborhood watch, though civil liberties lawyers like Bruce Kramer have concerns.   

“Technology can be used or abused, said Kramer.

The partnerships let police request the video recorded by homeowners’ cameras within a specific time and area, helping officers see footage from the company’s millions of internet-connected cameras installed nationwide.

West Memphis Police is just one of the departments in the Mid-South that entered into an agreement with Ring this past summer.

“We’ve gotten some good information, especially on suspicious activity neighbors have seen. I can’t go into any detail because of open investigations, but it has provided us with suspects and good information on overall activity going on, ” said Capt. Troy Galtelli with West Memphis Police.

With the growing number of police departments collecting Ring video from people’s doorbell cameras, some have questions about the broader issue of privacy and surveillance.

“There is no Big Brother watching you,” said Galtelli.

So how does the program work? And which police departments in our area are taking part in it? Do you have a right to refuse? Find out Thursday during Local 24 News at 10PM.

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