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IPFS News Link • Surveillance

Citizen-on-Citizen Surveillance: All the Data that Amazon's Ring Cameras Collect on You

• Need To Know

Amazon splashed out more than a billion dollars for Ring video doorbell in 2018, and its security products have exploded in popularity. Ring shares video and data with thousands of police departments, helping expand and normalize suburban surveillance. It is vulnerable to hacks. Privacy is violated as people can be monitored while walking through a neighborhood. Ring keeps detailed records, including every doorbell press and each motion the camera detects, and stores the information. Ring can record audio and conversations up to 20 feet away. Ring can also keep videos shared to its Neighbors' app and post videos of what is happening around the homes. Videos shared from security cameras and internet-connected doorbells have also become common on platforms like Facebook and TikTok, raking in millions of views.

If you walk through your local neighborhood—providing you live in a reasonably large town or city—you'll be caught on camera. Government CCTV cameras may record your stroll, but it is increasingly likely that you'll also be captured by one of your neighbors' security cameras or doorbells. It's even more likely that the camera will be made by Ring, the doorbell and security camera firm owned by Amazon.

Since Amazon splashed out more than a billion dollars for the company in 2018, Ring's security products have exploded in popularity. Ring has simultaneously drawn controversy for making deals (and sharing data) with thousands of police departments, helping expand and normalize suburban surveillance, and falling to a string of hacks. While the cameras can provide homeowners with reassurance that their property is secure, critics say the systems also run the risk of reinforcing racism and racial profiling and eroding people's privacy.


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