Tags: Amazon | Ring | Doorbell Cameras | facial recognition

Amazon May Put Facial Recognition in Doorbell Cameras, Alarming Senators

Amazon May Put Facial Recognition in Doorbell Cameras, Alarming Senators
(AP)

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 05:29 PM

A group of Democratic U.S. senators is questioning Amazon about the security of its Ring doorbell cameras following reports that some Ukraine-based employees had access to video footage from customers’ homes.

The move is coming as Amazon is revealing that their doorbells may soon have facial recognition technology, a move that is alarming some lawmakers.

A letter to Amazon Wednesday from Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and four other Democrats said the internet-connected devices may pose national security concerns.

News site The Intercept earlier reported that Ring employees in the U.S. and Ukraine had access to personal data from cameras around the world. The letter asks the company to explain its practices to address security vulnerabilities.

Ring says it’s reviewing the letter.

The letter comes after one of the senators in the group, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, on Tuesday released Amazon’s responses to separate privacy and civil liberty concerns.

Amazon has also considered adding facial recognition technology to its Ring doorbell cameras, according to the letter to Markey.

The company said that facial recognition is a “contemplated, but unreleased feature” of its home security cameras but that there are no plans to coordinate that feature with its law enforcement partnerships.

Markey wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in September raising privacy and civil liberty concerns about Ring’s video-sharing agreements with police departments across the country. The company encourages police to tap into Ring’s Neighbors app, a forum for residents to share videos of suspicious activity captured by their home security cameras.

Markey expressed alarm that Ring may be pursuing face-scanning technology after a patent application showed the company is exploring a system that could flag certain people as suspicious and automatically alert police.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this story.

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A group of Democratic U.S. senators is questioning Amazon about the security of its Ring doorbell cameras following reports that some Ukraine-based employees had access to video footage from customers' homes.A letter to Amazon Wednesday from Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and...
Amazon, Ring, Doorbell Cameras, facial recognition
293
2019-29-20
Wednesday, 20 November 2019 05:29 PM
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