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Doorbell-Camera Company Ring Partners With Over 400 Police Departments, Raising Surveillance Concerns

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

While doorbell cameras have become the latest way that big brother has been able to monitor unsuspecting customers in their own home (keep thinking Alexa’s minding her own business), not many people thought they’d actually be used by authorities to as evidence in their investigations. Well, they have.

According to The New York Times, 25-year-old Michael Egwuagu became the latest example of this practice after Texas authorities arrested him for the murder of his older sister, Jennifer Chioma Ebichi. Though they already had one witness saying they saw a blood-stained Egwuagu exiting her home with a bloody knife and saying “I killed Jennifer” with a smile on his face, police were able to corroborate the testimony thanks to footage from the doorbell camera installed at the home.

The 25-year-old murderer has become the latest example of how authorities are using doorbell cameras to their advantage whenever working a case.

“Every time there is more surveillance and more captured of the lived experience, that will be helpful for police investigators,” said Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, a law professor and the author of “The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement.”

“The consequences are an erosion of privacy and security at our homes and in our private moments,” he added. “The trade-off is one that is hard, but also one I’m not sure citizens have fully understood when they decided to buy a little extra security for their home.”

Doorbell cameras like Ring have become all the rage amongst homeowners as of late and though each home and refuse police requests to access their footage, authorities can still obtain permission other ways.

“Ring will not disclose user videos to police unless the user expressly consents or if disclosure is required by law, such as to comply with a warrant,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “Ring objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate legal demands as a matter of course.”

Man, if you’re grinding out on these streets and think that having a doorbell camera at your spot is one of the best ways to protect yourself, you might wanna think twice about going that route. Just sayin.’

As for Egwuagu, he’s being held on a $500,000 bail for the murder of his sister and her unborn child as she was in her first trimester of her pregnancy. What is this world coming to?