Automatically share camera feed to police and law enforcement (as an opt-in feature)

For those of us who want to build safer neighborhoods, we want to be able to automatically donate all camera footages to local law enforcement to make their job easier.

This should be an opt-in feature though so as not to invade user privacy.

There is already a thread about this here

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Wyze can and should do a better job than Ring after learning why some people strongly dislike Ring Neighbors from the other thread.

Here’s an interesting counterpoint. If you are posting your videos, the bad guys can learn where your cameras are and better enable them to avoid them. I have cameras that are quite obvious, but I also have cameras that you would have to try pretty hard to spot - unless you had seen video so knew that there has to be a camera “over there”.


If Wyze can let users share camera feeds only with law enforcement authorities but not with everyone, that will be one big step ahead of Ring, for example. We want to make it easier only for the good guys to do their jobs but not the bad guys.

Can we please have a Vote Against feature in the forum now? This is a terrible idea. Let people choose Rings if they want that sort of compromise.

Authorities can already subpoena footage from Wyze. They can already come to you and ask for it. You can already give it to them. That is enough. (You can also already create your own neighborhood watch and use Wyze sharing features with willing participants.)


I cast my vote as a NO


Some new background on what Ring is/was up to in this regard. Makes me seriously question my grudging allegiance to Amazon’s systems.


I’m with @Customer . If I wanted something like this I buy Ring.


100% this is a bad idea. I will lose all respect for Wyze if this feature is added especially since they will be able to monetize this data to police departments as well but whether they take advantage of monetizing it or not doesn’t change my thoughts about this idea.

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I’m absolutely not suggesting that Wyze follow what Ring does. I suggest a toggle switch in the current Wyze app settings that labeled “Make the world a safer place.” (default: off) People who dislike Ring will always enjoy the same great privacy with Wyze. Others who want the feature can simply express their intent by turning on the switch giving Wyze the permission to do the right thing. End users never need to worry about good guys vs. bad guys. Wyze should innovate better than Ring. If by doing good, Wyze boosts its chance of staying afloat financially, that will be a win-win because you definitely can do well by doing good.

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You imply that monitoring all your neighbours is the right thing…I disagree. We should not become a surveillance state like Britain. Nor should we support facial recognition for use by the authorities since it is notoriously inaccurate.

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Yeah, no pressure or anything. Come on. Read the article I posted above. This is ripe for abuse by any number of parties, along with inadvertent issues (repurposed your camera as a babycam or bedroom cam and forgot to turn off the precinct feed?). It’s a terrible idea and it’s a shame that Ring / Amazon continues to do it. I wouldn’t count on Wyze or any vendor to maintain it safely and properly.

There are more than enough public cameras already.


Also, unless I don’t understand how Wyze works, there aren’t any live views fed to the servers, only recordings. If the police need them, they can ask. I just don’t want to live under constant surveillance nor a police state like China.


Bingo. As I said in April above, the footage is a simple subpoena away. I expect Wyze gets hundreds of them a month.

This capability already exists, If you want, “SHARE” your camera with the local constabulary. They just need a Wyze account and they have your feed.

Police / Law Enforcement Video Stream Share Portal

This feature would allow Wyze users to opt into a video stream sharing platform with local law enforcement. Additional functionality could be Axon integration to share clips with local law enforcement using Axon’s ALPR funtionality would also be welcome.

I think everyone’s needs can be met here without putting this on the individual company to program it or manage it or raise prices on everyone to pay for it. Here are my thoughts overall:

Firstly, end-to-end encryption is the best option from a business point of view. If all video is end to end encrypted, it will be protected from hackers, it will also make it pointless for law enforcement to issue warrants or subject the company to countless subpoenas from lawyers and regular citizens. If the company itself can’t access the videos or data, then they no longer have pay someone a salary to search through the data and retrieve it or deal with so many issues…all of which expenses cause the company to have to raise prices on the rest of us to pay for all those extra expenses and resources, etc. Similarly, manually building in a special program for law enforcement would also incur a cost that would also have to be paid by people who are opposed to it all in general anyway even if they “opted out”…the general price increases are still paid by everyone in order to compensate for the feature a few choose to use.

I think the best compromise from a business standpoint is to simply make it impossible for the compay to access anyone’s data without that user’s credentials. Leave the choice 100% up to the user with them being the sole person with access permissions to their data. Warrants, subpoenas, hackers, etc can only get the info from the user. Users may still share their video with anybody and everybody if they choose. Let them stream it live on Youtube if they want. They can call their local Law Enforcement and tell them they are welcome to come view their cameras any time and we’ll give them access or if they tell us the date and time they want, we’ll pull those videos for them. It’s possible the new Matter Protocol will even have an API option that lets people SHARE access to their cameras. People can go to the Matter forums and suggest this as a toggle. At least then it will just be a copy and paste code instead of each company spending time and resources all programming their own solution and passing the cost on to those who don’t want it.

Honestly, I’m not opposed to sharing some video with law enforcement. If my neighbor gets robbed and I have it on my camera, I will download the applicable event and give it to them, but I do not ever want them reviewing any of my video without my absolute express permission and consent.

I have seen people have legal problems with misperception/misinterpretation on videos

I actually witnessed an assault once (there were several other witnesses too), where man A was standing up and hit man B who was sitting down, and man B reacted and jumped up and punched Man A back who had hit him first, to protect himself and end the assault on him. For some reason, the camera video made it look like Man B initiated the assault (I am guessing because of the FPS or the angle of the video or whatever). The cops handcuffed Man B and charged him with Assault, and it took every witness telling them that they got it all wrong. Now Man B had an arrest on his record, charged with a crime, and several other things. And that was WITH video evidence of what happened. Somehow they still got it all wrong.

That was scary. So then if they are reviewing MY video at leisure 24/7 and they see something else happen and have a misperception or are missing context, even if I didn’t actually do anything wrong, I could get screwed over like the guy above. No thank you. Even with that guy luckily having a dozen witnesses, it still made his life a living hell for a while. That terrified me. There is no way I would ever want to risk something similar unless I am sure there are no misperceptions or misinterpretations because I’ve witnessed context making a huge difference in these things, and if it is on my cams, the person most likely to suffer from misperceptions or misinterpretations are me or my family even if we actually 100% obey the law.

This is a big reason I want them to ask me for video, and I will be happy to assist AFTER I review it and make sure they (or a prosecutor or anyone else) can’t misinterpret or twist something out of context (innocently or on purpose is irrelevant)…once it leaves my possession I no longer have any control over what they do with it, or if it goes on social media or the news or anything. Thus I want to always maintain 100% control over my data…get my permission and I am willing to help if my neighbors or others need help with something that happened. In fact, I HAVE shared video of my neighbor being burgled across the street from my previous residence…so I DO understand and help out when it’s reasonable, but there are too many scary risks to give 100% unrestricted access even if/when I am 100% law-abiding. I have witnessed it.

If anything, the company benefits the most from making everything end-to-end encrypted to the point where they CAN’T access our data even if they wanted to, not even for warrants or subpoenas…then they could easily blow off all the costs they previously spent on warrants and subpoenas because only the user can grant that permission, not the company…thus the company is no longer losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars (or how ever much the direct and indirect costs and resources are) due to all those legal requests. That’s strictly a smart business move. Law Enforcement still can have access, they have to ask the user nicely for cooperation and it is then 100% up to each user and each user alone without costs being pushed onto higher prices.

Building on this, once only the user has sole access, if there is a sort of API (maybe even Matter will make this possible…we don’t know yet since the Camera protocols haven’t been decided yet), the user could then choose to SHARE certain kinds of access with law enforcement or anyone else to whichever cams they wanted, without having to share the entire account. Thus I think the better request here is to request all companies do end to end encryption so our prices are cheaper and totally secure from hackers and everyone else (including from government), then go to the Matter forums and beg those making the decisions to make this an option people can choose opt in to. Ask Law Enforcement to make some system that will be compatible with Matter that users could choose to share with them if they WANT to. Then no company has to spend resources building their own or wasting salary and resources on it and forwarding that extra cost onto everyone who doesn’t want it.

In the above scenario, everyone gets what they want. Those who want 100% control would have it, and those who want to share could do that, and companies no longer have to deal with all those warrants and subpoenas because that decision is 100% up to the user, not the company. Ask the user nicely because their 5th Amendment right guarantees they don’t have to give you their passwords, etc…so the only way anybody gets someone’s data is by nicely getting their express voluntary cooperation. To me, that’s how everyone wins here: Company, user privacy, user sharing, law enforcement, everyone, and it encourages everyone to be nicer to each other instead of playing power games and wasted costs.

But that’s just me. I totally respect others’ perspectives because I can see where each side is coming from, and I like each to a degree. I just think there is a way for everyone to have a win-win-win-win if done right.

Interesting thought experiment, carver. Some quick (and I mean quick) reactions.

  1. This thread was deservedly buried until someone bumped it after a year.

  2. I think you mean encrypted at rest. Wyze video, as far as I know, is already encrypted end to end since it uses https. The point of encryption at rest is that Wyze couldn’t see or share the videos it stores without a key or backdoor. (My terminology is probably wrong here.)

  3. The idea poses all kinds of (not insurmountable) issues. First, the added encryption layer (and processing time) at each camera before it sends up the video. This is not likely to work well with current cameras. Second, and much more important, the obvious key management issues, the inevitable need to rescue lost keys, difficulty sharing, and the near impossibility to provide a pure web client.

  4. People are going to be really, really angry when they can’t get their encrypted videos to play. And you’re saying the private keys would just be based on the user’s credentials? Isn’t something missing?

  1. Yeah, but I hadn’t seen it yet, so when it showed up in my feed, I decided I might as well chime in my thoughts since I hadn’t yet and it was already at the top here. :slight_smile:

  2. Sure? :man_shrugging: An article I read said end to end encrypted prevented certain companies from accessing data at all, even for warrants/subpoenas, so I was just rolling with the same terminology they used to say the company could not share anything without the user’s cooperation, no matter who legally requires it…but whatever it means so that even the company itself can’t access the data

  3. I am sure there are issues…so I agree with the general principle…but don’t necessarily know everything it would take to implement it. Good thoughts though. I acknowledge there are probably good reasons why Wyze has things set the way they currently do, and I do not have all the relevant info.

  4. Yeah, I’m sure encryption will bring it’s own issues, but so does any other method. I do not know what is the best way to implement this, I only know that there are other companies that do this already so that only the user has access to videos. I am sure there are great solutions to this. Here I used credentials as a general term, and not necessarily referring to just the login, though it could be. I do not know how others have implemented this, only that some have set up their system so only the user has access, and I like that idea as a general rule.