At first glance of Amazon's new patent application, one would be tempted to think it no more than a built-in "smart" security system.
But no, this facial recognition surveillance doorbell does a lot more than record would-be thieves.
Ding! Dong! Prepare to be downright disturbed.
According to a new report, the patent application, made available in late November, would pair facial surveillance such as Rekognition, the product that Amazon is aggressively marketing to law enforcement, with Ring – a doorbell camera company that Amazon acquired in 2018.
CNN writes, "Amazon's application says the process leads to safer, more connected neighborhoods, as well as better informed homeowners and law enforcement."
Yeah, that's one way of putting it. Here's another:
Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future, with its technology at the center of a massive decentralized surveillance network, running real-time facial recognition on members of the public using cameras installed in people's doorbells. –Jacob Snow, ACLU
Wow. Do you feel safer yet?
This tech isn't really there to protect your house or neighborhood.
It's going to record all who walk by and gather composite images and recordings that can be stored in a cloud and accessed by law enforcement to help surveil and catch suspects.
One of the main problems – besides the obvious privacy violations and smashing the 4th amendment to smithereens – is that facial recognition has been abysmal so far. That means if a database determines you are a suspect because you bear a striking resemblance, then the police could show up and detain you before you even drop off the potato salad to your next potluck.