Google and Amazon authorize the police to collect their data if they deem it necessary in the United States, according to Cnet. Thus, the police do not need a warrant to collect information on your phone or in your connected objects.
In the United States, law enforcement agencies need a warrant or court authorization to search your personal data. A lot of tech companies, like Apple, Arlo, Wyze or Anker, don’t give anything without it. This is not necessarily the case with Google and Amazon, according to the American site Cnet.
Indeed, Amazon and Google have the same policy in the event of force majeure: give information to the police on simple request. Ring, an Amazon brand that designs connected doorbells, provided the police in more than 10 cases in 2022, without the consent of the user. A serious breach of privacy. This is not the first time that Ring has been singled out in this kind of case.
Google and Amazon are ready to work with the police
However, we must qualify. Google and Amazon indicate in their privacy policies that they provide information to the police with presentation of a warrant, just like the other tech giants (it’s the law). The two companies however, mention exceptions on a case-by-case basis, but this precision remains unclear.
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As the site The Verge specifies, Google has indicated that it is collaborating in cases of force majeure, or if a human life is at stake. Several examples are cited, such as bomb threats, kidnappings or suicides. Companies can legally share their data if they wish, even without the user’s permission. Cnet specifies that Amazon is even careful not to tell them when their data is provided to the police.
Amazon and Google seem to be exceptions in the middle. As an Arlo official told Cnet, the police can very well get a warrant quickly if the situation calls for it and it’s not up to the company to decide how important it is. In any case, these shares only concern the United States for the moment. In France, the search warrant does not exist. The police must have an authorization from the examining magistrate.