Police are using doorbell camera footage to solve crimes, raising privacy concerns

A Ring video doorbell is mounted next to the front door of a house. Even though the footage can help law enforcement, it also poses risks. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0.

Home surveillance systems, like Amazon’s Ring doorbell cameras and Google Nest, have become valuable tools in police investigations. Ring even has a partnership with about 2000 police departments across the country, making it simple to request footage from all Ring cameras within half a mile of a crime. These cameras are always on, and millions of people are estimated to own them.

Even though the footage can help law enforcement, it also poses risks. In February, two FBI agents were killed after the suspect allegedly saw them approaching on his doorbell camera.

Credits

Guest:
Drew Harwell - reporter covering artificial intelligence for the Washington Post - @drewharwell

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Angie Perrin, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Bennett Purser