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The NYPD has joined Amazon’s Ring Neighbors surveillance network

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The New York Police Department has joined Ring Neighbors, the neighborhood surveillance network built around Amazon’s Ring security cameras. the partnership, announced yesterdaymeans the NYPD will review and post directly to people’s posts on Neighbors, including requests for public assistance on “active police cases.”

Neighbors is a Nextdoor-style extension of Ring’s security camera business, allowing local residents to discuss crime and safety and post images from their cameras. While many law enforcement departments Joining Neighbors in recent years marks the endorsement by America’s largest police force. (Police could request Ring footage separately for criminal investigation without the app.) It’s part of an increasingly tight integration between Amazon and law enforcement — one that raises both privacy concerns and questions about its crime-solving value.

About 200 police departments had a Ring partnership in 2019, including some where officers received free cameras and were encouraged to recommend them to other people. (Amazon then ended that program, which was publicly revealed last year.) By 2021, the number was 2,000. The NYPD says it will not “monitor the app around the clock,” but it will be able to see and respond to crime and security-related reports from the app’s users.

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