Amazon cooperates with 400 law enforcement agencies in the US for its ring monitoring network, disclosing company data
- Amazon cooperates with 400 police forces in the US
- A new report confirms the number that first uses company data
- These partnerships are speckled over the east coast, the south and more
- Skeptics are concerned about the close relationship between the police and Amazon
The scope of Amazon's partnership with US police services continues to grow.
In a new report The Washington Post revealed that video exchange programs & # 39; s between the Amazon company, Ring – suppliers of popular home security equipment – are number 400, which almost doubles previous estimates.
That figure, which the Post says it was derived from Ring's company data, marks the first hard number ever in Ring's police partnerships that facilitate the exchange of video images of home users with local law enforcement officers.
Partnerships between Amazon and police are much more productive than before, according to a new report with 400 partnerships in the US.
Data obtained by the Post show that these collaborations were mostly speckled on the other side of the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast coast, with many in Florida, Texas, and Illinois.
Partnerships between the agencies and Amazon usually involve the company donating its compact security camera & # 39; s – often attached to a person's door – and linking it to a & # 39; neighborhood portal & # 39 ;.
Within this portal, the police may ask users for visual material that they think may be useful in investigations.
Users are free to accept or reject requests from the police and reportedly may opt out of future prompts to transfer footage if they wish.
Departments are reportedly also encouraged to promote the cameras with local residents, with Amazon providing additional units for every person who downloads the Ring app.
Previous reports from CNET suggest that departments have issued cameras with the proviso that customers share information with law enforcement authorities upon request.
Although Ring & # 39; s cameras have been hailed by the police as useful tools to help criminals in areas where surveillance is lacking, privacy experts say that marriage between the police and one of the largest corporations in the world is wary .
In combination with an increasingly sophisticated face recognition software – another product offered by Amazon – critics say the camera images can jump further as a tool for tracking people.
Ring has become popular among users who are looking for a cheap and affordable way to guard their homes. Photo file
Ring already considered integrating such software into their cameras & # 39; s last year – a movement that caused play in privacy groups such as the ACLU.
The ACLU and other organizations say that combining face recognition software with the devices means investigating subjects with no probable cause, because someone who sees the software is dragged into the algorithm.
Skeptics have also become cautious about what appears to be an unusually close relationship between law enforcement and one of & # 39; the world's largest and most influential companies.
Documents recently obtained by Vice show that Amazon has provided police with templates for requesting footage and has also given tips to police officers, such as regularly posting messages in Ring's neighborhood watch app.
In many cases, stake representatives are documented to coach police departments with positive endorsements such as & # 39; Continue responding and posting! & # 39; or & # 39; you are doing a great job with them and that is crucial in raising the opt-in ratio & # 39 ;, said Vice.
WHAT IS RING AND WHY AMAZON Bought?
Amazon has purchased startup Ring for home security for a reported £ 700 million ($ 1 billion).
The home security startup sells doorbells that capture video and audio.
Clips can be streamed on smartphones and other devices, while the doorbell even allows homeowners to chat remotely with those at their door.
Ring sells doorbells (left) that capture video and audio. Clips can be streamed on smartphones and other devices, while the doorbell even allows homeowners to chat remotely with those at their door
Ring promotes its gadgets as a way to catch package thieves, a nuisance that Amazon wanted to remedy.
At the end of last year, Amazon unveiled its own combination of smart locking and camera with the name Amazon Key in a move towards home security.
Key is designed to provide a safe and traceable way for packages that are delivered at home when people are not there.
Amazon has purchased Home Security Startup Ring for a reported £ 700 million ($ 1 billion)
Ring's doorbell can work well with Amazon Key, allowing delivery personnel to place packages in a home to prevent theft or, in the case of fresh food, spoilage.
California Ring first hit the spotlight with an unsuccessful search for funding about five years ago in the reality TV show Shark Tank.
Ring then won the support of billionaires Richard Branson and Amazon & # 39; s Alexa Fund.
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