How to stop police from asking for videos from your Amazon Ring doorbell

Key Points
  • Amazon's Ring app now lets you stop receiving notifications from police departments requesting video.
  • You can turn it off if you don't like the idea that Ring doorbells can be used for surveillance.
  • Even when the feature is turned on, you still need to confirm the request from a police department before they get the video.
Ernie Field holds up a live video of himself taken by a Ring doorbell camera
Jessica Hill | AP

You can now stop police departments from sending notifications asking for video from your Amazon Ring doorbell.

There's been controversy over Ring's decision to work closely with police departments to help investigate crimes. Some customers like that they're able to share videos from their doorbells with police departments in an effort to help catch criminals. Others see it as the creation of a surveillance state.

In a recent update to the Ring app, Amazon now lets customers opt out of receiving notifications from police departments who might be seeking Ring doorbell video footage to help solve a crime that happened near your home.

You might want to turn this off if you're among a group of people who don't think police should have access to video camera feeds. But even if the feature is turned on, you still need to confirm that you're willing to share video with a police department before they can review footage from your camera, unless you post it publicly in the Ring Neighbors app.

Here's how to turn it off:

  • Make sure you have the latest Ring app from either the iTunes App Store on an iPhone or Google Play for Android.
  • Open the Ring app on your phone.
  • Tap the settings menu on the top-left.
  • Choose Control Center.
  • Video requests are on by default. Turn this off.
  • You'll see a prompt that confirms you "will not receive notifications when local police seek information relevant to an investigation."
  • Tap "Yes, Disable Now."
How to turn off police video requests on your Ring Doorbell.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

That's it. Now you won't receive notifications if a police department is seeking video from Ring doorbells in your area to help solve a crime. But if you post videos publicly, police will still be able to see the videos.