Privacy is sensitive and there are many companies that do their best to take care of their customers. Nevertheless, Google and Amazon will let the authorities spy on the images of your smart cameras. On the other hand, Arlo, Apple, Wyze and Anker confirmed that they will not give access unless they are shown a court order.
As early as July, it was known that Amazon would give police access to customer images in emergency situations without a warrant. And now, Google has confirmed that it will do something similar to Amazonallowing the authorities to have access to the data of your Nest products or any other and without the need for any order.
Google and Amazon could give the images of your cameras to the police
In the United States, the information policies of Google and Amazon indicate that in most cases the authorities will have to present a court order, subpoena or something similar before entering any type of data. This is something that goes for Apple, Arlo, Anker, and Wyze as well, as they would be breaking the law if they didn’t. But unlike these companies, Google and Amazon will make exceptions if the authorities send a request emergency data.
starting july, Amazon revealed that it had complied with 11 such requests so far in 2022. As for Google, the transparency report does not appear to include specific information on emergency requests and the company has not disclosed anything related to this sensitive topic.
Google’s emergency information request policy states that complying with them is legally permitted, but not mandatory. That is to say, it is up to the powerful company of the great G whether to proceed to deliver the information or not.
“If we reasonably believe we can prevent someone from death or serious physical harm, we may provide information to a government agency, for example, in the case of bomb threats, school shootings, kidnappings, suicide prevention and missing persons cases. We still consider these requests in light of applicable laws and our policies.
Of course, an anonymous spokesman for Nest assures that the company intends to notify its users when it provides their data under these circumstances (although it says that in cases of emergency such notice cannot arrive unless Google hears that the emergency has passed). Amazon, on the other hand, has refused to confirm whether it would inform its users. when the police were to access his videos.
Legally speaking, a company is within its rights to share this type of data with the police if it considers that there is an emergency. However, there is no one that forces them to do so. Therefore, Arlo rejects the practices of both Amazon and Google and suggests that the police should obtain a court order if the situation truly is an emergency.
“If a situation is urgent enough for authorities to request a warrantless search of Arlo’s property, then this situation should also be urgent enough for law enforcement or a prosecutor to request an immediate hearing. a judge to issue a court order to serve immediately, «says the company. On the other hand, it is necessary to point out that Amazon denies some emergency requests when they believe that law enforcement can obtain such a demand without resorting to their help.
Meanwhile, Apple and Anker’s Eufy claim that even they don’t have access to users’ video. Why? because their systems use end-to-end encryption by default. Despite all the associations Ring has with the police, Ring does allow end-to-end encryption on some of its products, though there are plenty of caveats. For example, the function does not work with cameras that use batteries (which are the majority). Also that you have to give up some of its features to use it, like using Alexa greetings or watching Ring videos on your computer. Meanwhile, Google doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption on its Nest Cams.
eye! That Arlo, Apple, Wyze and Eufy do not grant your videos without a court order It does not mean that these companies keep your data totally secure.. Last year, Anker apologized after hundreds of Eufy customers had their cameras exposed to strangers, and it recently came to light that Wyze failed to alert customers to security flaws in some of its cameras that it had known about for years. Apple may not have a way to share your HomeKit Secure Video footage, but it does comply with other emergency data requests with authorities, as evidenced by reports revealing that it and other companies like Meta shared customer information with hackers. hackers submitting bogus emergency requests.
General Information Protection Regulation, the protection of Europe
Since May 2018, the General Information Protection Regulation is the information security law of the European Union. This, without a doubt, makes you can be much more protected compared to people who live within the United States.
In case you didn’t know, this law gives you more control over your personal data and requires companies to ensure that the way they collect, process and store information is secure. Without a doubt, the European Union has achieved a fundamental change in the way companies think about information, since now the central idea is based on privacy by default.
Which organizations are affected by this law?
Any organization that retains or uses information from people within the European Union is subject to the new rules, regardless of where it is located. So just as you must be imagining, neither Amazon nor Google will be able to give the images of your smart cameras to the authorities as long as you are in Europe.
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