But how often is one the victims of a crime in their own neighborhood? Likely not enough to stay engaged with the app for too long. Ring’s solution is to push out alerts about alleged criminal activity reported nearby in real-time, according to company documents obtained by Gizmodo. Hiring people to monitor police scanners all day, however, is presumably too costly and inefficient. To pull off this trick, Ring needs something better: direct access to raw police dispatch data. Through its police partnerships, Ring has requested access to CAD, which includes information provided voluntarily by 911 callers, among other types of data automatically collected. CAD data is typically compromised of details such as names, phone numbers, addresses, medical conditions and potentially other types of personally identifiable information, including, in some instances, GPS coordinates. Ring confirmed on Thursday that it does receive location information, including precise addresses from CAD data, which it does not publish to its app. It denied receiving other forms of personal information.
According to internal documents, police CAD data is received by Ring’s “Neighbors News team” and is then reformatted before being posted on Neighbors in the form of an “alert” to users in the vicinity of the alleged incident. The document states that Ring’s team only posts alerts for eight different crimes: burglary, vehicle break-in and theft, robbery, shots fired, shootings, stabbing, hostage, and arson.