I installed a Ring doorbell by my front door. In fact, I have cameras all around my house. I’m not worried about burglars, I’m worried about vigilantes. Because I’m a person required to register as a sex offender, I’m particularly vulnerable to vigilantism. I’m susceptible to anyone, at any time, bringing a false allegation against me because they don’t want me in their neighborhood. I don’t have these cameras because I want to catch someone else, that’s a secondary thought for me. I have these cameras because I want to exonerate myself.
I reconsidered my decision to use Ring when I read a story in today’s Washington Post, “Doorbell-camera firm Ring has partnered with 400 police forces, extending surveillance reach”
Ring, the Amazon video doorbell, has apparently partnered with 400 law enforcement agencies to give them access to the recordings from personal Ring cameras. It makes me sick to my stomach.
I know I’m not doing anything wrong, so why should I worry, right? Well registration laws change ever year. I live in constant fear that a new rule was passed that I’m not aware of or I’m interpreting one of these confusing statutes in a way that one police officer might not interpret it. Even if I’m ultimately correct, I’ll likely sit in jail for months until a judge makes their own interpretation and an arrest, ANY arrest, could potentially jeopardize my chance at removal.
Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that GPS monitoring of people no longer on probation was an unreasonable search and seizure. How can providing police access to a video camera facing my front door not be the same?!?! The fact that it’s MY CAMERA adds insult to injury!
Currently, the article states, that Ring users have some element of control over whether their Ring footage is shared with law enforcement, but I’m not sure I really trust that.