Google has followed the footsteps of Amazon by allowing the police or law enforcement agents discountenance the issuance of warrant or court order to get access to user’s smart home camera footage. According to Google, the police will be able to get the required data if there is an emergency claim from their end.
The information request policies of Google and Amazon in the United States avers that in most cases, authorities will have to present a warrant, subpoena, or similar court order before they will hand over data, but exceptions will be made if law enforcement submits an emergency request for data.
Google’s information request policy on “requests for information in emergencies” has this to say:
“If we reasonably believe that we can prevent someone from dying or from suffering serious physical harm, we may provide information to a government agency — for example, in the case of bomb threats, school shootings, kidnappings, suicide prevention, and missing persons cases. We still consider these requests in light of applicable laws and our policies”
Though a company is legally allowed to share this kind of data with police if it believes there’s an emergency, but the laws do not force them to share such data, making it at their own discretion.
It should be noted that other companies like Arlo, Apple, Wyze and Eufy’s whose policies do not give such exemptions is not an indication that one’s data is safe with them. Apple and Eufy had explained that they don’t have access to users’ video, due to the default end-to-end encryption their systems use.