Police get tapes from Google. And without permission

The tech giant doesn’t see a problem with sharing videos shot without our knowledge with smart home devices.

The second company besides Google that already does this is Amazon.

Smart home cameras are becoming more popular and more and more people are using them. We want to know what our animals are doing, how the babysitter is doing with the children, in general if everything is okay in our absence. If something bad happens, the recordings can help the police.

Different recording transfer procedures

The key to the whole case is the word command. If the police conduct the proceedings and the court agrees to check the recording – no problem. All companies involved in the production of smart home devices, incl. As one spouse, Apple confirms that it will share them. But what if there is no such order? The two industry giants, Google and Amazon, said they would still release the tapes if police said there was an “emergency” or “emergency”.

Source: Depositphotos

It is…

Here’s the problem. Such statements are essentially unverifiable and have potentially great potential for abuse by the police.

After revealing the entire case, Google released a statement saying that the situation had not yet been handed over to the police. However, this was no longer the case with Amazon, the company admitted that it had done so several times since the beginning of this year.

Source: Depositphotos

The case was revealed by the portal The Verge and so far only concerns the United States. How the two companies will fare in other parts of the world where their products can be purchased is unknown.

And Google spokeswoman Kimberly Taylor said:

In the event of an ongoing emergency, where obtaining such data would be critical to solving the problem, we may pass it on to the authorities. We have never done this before, but it is important that we reserve this option.

What are emergencies? Google says these are situations where it reasonably believes it can prevent death or serious injury — such as bomb threats, school shootings, kidnappings, suicides.

According to Taylor, Google takes disclosure requests very seriously.

“We have dedicated teams and strict policies to ensure we provide information that can help first responders in an emergency. And we assure you that we only release the data that is necessary to prevent the threat.”

And how is it in Poland?

Everything here is regulated by the GDPR, i.e. the regulation on the protection of personal data. Both the person visible on it and a “third” person, including the police, can request a surveillance recording. Whether the recording will be provided to him depends on the assessment of the personal data manager. In some cases, such as burglary or assault situations, it is not necessary to blur the images of people visible on the video.


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