Learn how Ring has enabled communication between communities and law enforcement while protecting customer privacy.
At Ring, our mission is to make neighborhoods safer, and we’ve learned that achieving this goal works best when communities work together. It’s why we created the Neighbors App, which provides any member in a neighborhood with a place to share important local crime and safety information, and have discussions about what’s going on around them.
In some neighborhoods, local law enforcement agencies use the Neighbors App to engage directly with the community, and enlist their help on active investigations. By working together through Neighbors, users and local law enforcement have achieved amazing results time and again, from getting stolen guns off the streets to helping families keep their children safe.
We’ve been thoughtful about designing how law enforcement engages with the Neighbors App to ensure users always stay in control of the information they share, and that their privacy is protected. The Neighbors Portal, is a tool that allows law enforcement to post important information about crime and safety events in their community, as well as view and comment on public posts as a verified law enforcement officer. Through the portal, law enforcement are also able to enlist the help of the community on active investigations by requesting footage from users through the Video Request tool. With the tool, local law enforcement can ask Ring to request video footage from device owners who are in the area of an active investigation. When making a video request to Ring, law enforcement must reference a relevant case, and can only request video recordings within a limited time and area. With each request, customers decide whether to share all relevant videos, review and select certain videos to share, take no action (decline), or opt-out of all future requests.
The Neighbors Portal is designed to limit the information that law enforcement is able to access so that our users’ privacy is protected:
- No access to devices: Law enforcement are never given access to users’ cameras or devices through the Neighbors Portal or by Ring.
- No user account information: Users are identified only as “Neighbor #”. Although law enforcement knows the users posting content reside within their jurisdiction, law enforcement cannot see or access user account information.
- No device location: The Neighbors Portal does not provide law enforcement with the addresses at which any devices are located.
- No direct access to users when making video requests: Law enforcement must go through the Ring team when making a video request. Ring does not provide law enforcement with information about our users unless a user decides to share video recordings with law enforcement in which case the user’s email and location address are disclosed.
Ring continues to innovate on behalf of our users to help make neighborhoods safer with privacy, security and user control driving every decision we make. We all play a pivotal role in making neighborhoods safer so let’s continue to work together towards better communities.
Update, June 3, 2021: The Video Request feature referenced in this blog has been discontinued. To learn more about how public safety agencies share information and request help from their communities, please see our blog post Ring Launches Request for Assistance Posts on the Neighbors App.