Author: Thom Holwerda
The Tao of Open Source Intelligence Audible Audiobook
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CNet decided to ask makers of home security cameras about their policies when it comes to dealing with requests from United States law enforcement: Ring, the Amazon-owned video doorbell and home security company, came under renewed criticism from privacy activists this month after disclosing it gave video footage to police in more than 10 cases without users’ consent thus far in 2022 in what it described as “emergency situations.” That includes instances where the police didn’t have a warrant. While Ring stands alone for its extensive history of police partnerships, it isn’t the only name I found with a carve-out clause for sharing user footage with police during emergencies. Google, which makes and sells smart home cameras and video doorbells under the Nest brand, makes as much clear in its terms of service. Other manufacturers of home security cameras, such as Wyze and Arlo, only provide footage after a valid warrant, while devices that use Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video are end-to-end encrypted, so footage cannot be shared at all. In other words, if you live in the United States, it’s best to avoid Amazon’s and Google’s offerings – especially if you’re a member of a minority or are a woman seeking essential healthcare – and stick to Apple’s offerings instead.