Amazon’s surveillance camera brand, Ring, has reportedly entered into partnerships with around 200 police and law units across the US.
Ring never disclosed the exact number of partnerships that it maintains with law enforcement. However, an email obtained by web portal Motherboard cites notes from a police official which revealed the number.
“Every decision we make at Ring centres around privacy, security and user control. While law enforcement partners can submit video requests when investigating an active case, Ring facilitates these requests with user consent. Law enforcement cannot see how many Ring users received the request, declined to share or opted-out of all future requests,” The Verge quoted a Ring spokesperson as saying on Monday.
Despite pushback from civil libertarians and some of its own employees, Amazon has taken an interest in working with law enforcement.
Apart from Ring, the company also offers a facial recognition product called Rekognition which it has provided to local law enforcement and even pitched to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
But doubting the accuracy of the tool, researchers and Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts have urged the company to stop selling it to the police, The Verge said.
Earlier in June, the home security company was accused of exploiting the emotion of fear in people to sell its doorbell cameras and sharing a “suspected” thief’s video as a promoted post on Facebook.
Amazon recently won a patent to construct a drone-based delivery that would be capable of performing surveillance and property imagery as a “secondary task” after executing package deliveries.
The e-commerce giant is planning to offer “surveillance as a service” coupled with its futuristic unmanned aerial product delivery idea.