Police can keep Ring camera video forever and share with whomever they’d like, Amazon tells senator

Police officers who download videos captured by homeowners’ Ring doorbell cameras can keep them forever and share them with whomever they’d like without providing evidence of a crime, the Amazon-owned firm told a lawmaker this month.

More than 600 police forces across the country have entered into partnerships with the camera giant, allowing them to quickly request and download video recorded by Ring’s motion-detecting, Internet-connected cameras inside and around Americans’ homes.

The company says that the videos can be a critical tool in helping law enforcement investigate crimes such as trespassing, burglary and package theft, and that homeowners are free to decline the requests. But some lawmakers and privacy advocates say the systems could empower more widespread police surveillance, fuel racial profiling and spark new neighborhood fears.