The feature, which is part of a new dashboard, comes amid an ongoing debate about privacy, surveillance and the growth of smart-home technology.

Ring, the smart doorbell company that Amazon acquired in 2018, announced Monday that it will now let users opt out of police requests for video recorded by its devices.

A ring smart doorbell. Credit: Ring

The opt-out option is part of Ring’s Control Center, a new dashboard for its devices that the company unveiled Monday during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Control Center will live inside the Ring app, and will let users manage their various electronic devices.

It will also allow Ring users to “opt out of receiving video requests in areas where local police have joined” the company’s neighborhood watch app, according to a statement from Ring.

Jamie Siminoff, Ring’s founder and “chief innovator,” added in a statement that the company plans to continue focusing “on innovating new products while enhancing our customers’ experiences especially around privacy and user control.”

“This is why we’re releasing a dedicated section of the Ring mobile app called Control Center where users can view and control their privacy and security settings,” Siminoff added.

The new Control Center will be available in Ring’s mobile app later this month.

The news that Ring will let users opt out of requests from police comes amid growing concerns over privacy and smart-home technology. In August, for example, the Washington Post reported that Ring had struck up video sharing partnerships with more than 400 police departments around the U.S.

The partnerships reportedly allow police to ask for surveillance footage from millions of Ring users, though officers don’t receive live streams and — prior to the arrival of Control Center — users were still free to decline law enforcement video requests.

In November, Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey also reported that an investigation into Ring showed that there were “little to no privacy policies or civil rights protections for video collected by the technology.”

“Connected doorbells are well on their way to becoming a mainstay of American households, and the lack of privacy and civil rights protections for innocent residents is nothing short of chilling,” Markey, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Such comments have gone hand in hand with a larger debate about privacy, smart-home technology and, in some cases, Amazon companies specifically. In addition to pushback to Ring, for instance, reports also surfaced last year that Amazon employs people to listen in to conversations picked up by its Alexa smart speakers.

Though the debate over these technologies is unlikely to disappear soon, Ring’s new privacy option is presumably meant to assuage such concerns and indicate to consumers that they have some control over their data and devices.

In an email to Inman Monday, a spokesperson for Ring said that future versions of the Control Center will let users “easily view and control other privacy and security settings” as well.

“With privacy, security and customer control top of mind,” the spokesperson added, “the new Control Center will provide Ring customers with more visibility into how their data is kept secure and private by Ring.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2019.

Agenda | Speakers | Past Connect Videos

Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy tickets together. Contact us to find out more.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription