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Google Joins Amazon in Allowing Police Access to Your Home Cameras Without a Warrant


Uncrowned Guard
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camera.thumb.png.7041418fe977ad63b2089cb7b2ee8ba6.pngAmazon has been under fire as of late after a report showed that they are not requiring a warrant to allow law enforcement unrestricted access to a user’s camera system as long as the access is deemed “an emergency”.  Recently, Google has been noted to have a privacy policy that also allows this access if law enforcement asks for emergency access as well.  Other tech companies, like Apple, have stood against these types of access and only provide this access if law enforcement has a warrant.

Once a warrant is involved, companies are legally required to comply with the access request and while many have tried to fight this with end-to-end encryption and removing user data from their servers, the overall tech community generally does follow the warrant orders.  While many users are okay with warranted access, the emergency access that Amazon and Google are offering has little in terms of limits and description on what is an “emergency”.

However, it should be noted that other big tech companies have made public statements stating that they will not release user information without a warrant, but most of them have at some point allowed access to their users’ data without such a warrant.  With Apple allowing emergency access in the past and Anker’s “end-to-end” video encryption being leaked from their servers.

The concern to these requests is that groups have found many ways to basically use these emergency requests to access user data illegally.  Both Apple and Meta (Facebook) have not only fallen for these attacks, but the attackers were able to successfully access the private data they requested.  We recommend running a self-hosted security system if you do not want big tech accessing your household and you can check out our forums for user help if need be.

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15 hours ago, Kyng said:

Ugh, I don't like this. But I guess that was always one of the risks with these 'smart devices'...

Ya, they offer some perks for sure, but the downsides seems pretty steep.  Sadly the self hosted smart home community is very much an enthusiast items with programs like OpenHab and Home Assistant still being based heavily around server speak and coding.

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