At Ring, our mission is to make neighborhoods safer. Transparency and accountability are core values for us, and they are foundational to how we build our products and services.
In early 2020, we approached the Policing Project at NYU School of Law to audit the Neighbors app and Neighbors Public Safety Service (NPSS) to help improve our products and services from a civil liberties and policing ethics perspective. From the outset, Ring committed to making the findings of this audit public, and we gave the Policing Project editorial control over the report’s content.
After nearly two years of work, the Policing Project published their findings today. Their efforts were comprehensive, and many teams across Ring — from engineers and product leaders to the executive team — spent thousands of hours sharing documents and information, answering questions, and developing solutions.
Ring has taken real action, making more than 100 changes to Neighbors, including updates to our product, policies, and processes. Among these:
- We introduced Requests for Assistance posts on Neighbors in June 2021, which enable public safety agencies to ask their communities for information or video as part of an active investigation in a more transparent way.
- We committed that NPSS will remain a locally focused service, and we will only bring on local police and fire departments that are directly accountable to the communities they serve. This affirmed the Policing Project’s recommendation that we not open NPSS to federal law enforcement or private security companies.
- We looked closely at our Community Guidelines and added steps that encourage Neighbors users to be thoughtful about what they post in the app. Combined with our content moderation efforts, this helps to build positive, neighborly experiences on the app.
We are proud of these changes and will continue to innovate on privacy, security and user control to help deliver on our mission to make neighborhoods safer for everyone.