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12/02/2019 / By Ethan Huff
Just as we warned, Amazon’s questionable tech offerings aren’t actually about making your life simpler, easier, and more convenient. They’re about spying on you, your family, and your friends – and in the case of Amazon’s “Ring” doorbell, it’s about building a secret watchlist for government spooks to better identify and track your “suspicious” neighbors.
According to reports, the Jeff Bezos empire has formed a partnership with law enforcement that involves Amazon handing over facial recognition data from people’s Ring doorbell systems, which are equipped with tiny cameras and wi-fi systems that relay everything they “see” back to Amazon, which then sends it to local police departments.
Hidden documents obtained by The Intercept reveal that Amazon is actively setting up a supposed “crime-fighting surveillance camera division” that involves pairing artificial intelligence (AI) systems with advanced tracking software.
“Ring, Amazon’s crime-fighting surveillance camera division, has crafted plans to use facial recognition software and its ever-expanding network of home security cameras to create AI-enabled neighborhood ‘watch lists,'” writes Sam Biddle for The Intercept about this truly dystopian program being launched by none other than Amazon.
“The planning materials envision a seamless system whereby a Ring owner would be automatically alerted when an individual deemed ‘suspicious’ was captured in their camera’s frame, something described as a ‘suspicious activity prompt.'”
Biddle goes on to explain that Ring owners will soon be alerted whenever those tagged as “suspicious” are in close proximity their homes, giving them the option to either notify police with the touch of a button, or call the police themselves using their home or wireless phones.
When questioned about the surreal Big Brother implications of such a system, Ring spokesperson Yassi Shahmiri reportedly told The Intercept that “the features described are not in development,” whatever that means. Shahmiri went on to claim that “Ring does not use facial recognition technology,” which is, at the very least, deceptively stated, if not patently false.
In response to a series of questions recently put forth by Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey, Amazon admitted that facial recognition has been “contemplated” with regards to Ring, but that it remains an “unreleased feature” that will only be turned on after “thoughtful design” has been considered, including “privacy, security, and user control.”
But Amazon has apparently already completed its “thoughtful design” process, seeing as how Ring watchlists that rely on facial recognition are already in the works. Paranoid homeowners will soon be encouraged by Amazon to feed questionable data to law enforcement in order to create “lists of undesirables unworthy of entrance into well-to-do areas,” according to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California Attorney Mohammed Tajsar.
Government watchlists have long been considered by legal scholars to be a major no-no in the United States because of their high potential to incriminate innocent people without due process, in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. But now we have Amazon, a major corporation, doing just that, which bodes ominous for our collective future.
“When corporations create [watchlists], the dangers are even more stark,” warns Tajsar. “Corporations often operate in an environment free from even the most basic regulation, without any transparency, with little oversight into how their products are built and used, and with no regulated mechanism to correct errors.”
A Ring employee, on the condition of anonymity, reportedly admitted to The Intercept that this newfangled surveillance apparatus exists for one purpose, and one purpose only. “All it is is people reporting people in hoodies,” this individual said.
For more related news about the Big Tech takeover of society and the threats this poses to individual liberty and freedom, be sure to check out Tyranny.news.
Sources for this article include:
Tagged Under: Amazon, Big Brother, Big Tech, doorbell, evil corporation, future tech, Glitch, Jeff Bezos, neighbors, Orwellian, Police, police state, privacy, privacy watch, Ring, spying, surveillance, suspicious, violation of Constitution, watchlists
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