Amazon Plans Ring Facial Recognition-Based ‘Watch List’, Report
Amazon plans to implement facial recognition software in Ring smart home security devices with the goal of recognizing ‘suspicious activity.’ This plan would effectively create an AI-enabled “neighborhood watch list,” according to reports on Amazon’s plans. The watch list would automatically notify a Ring owner with a notification on their phone when a person deemed suspicious was within the camera frame. The report was announced this week amid controversy on who has access to Ring camera data after Ring’s partnership with police departments across the country.
The report does not clarify what constitutes an individual as suspicious, but earlier this year Ring offered product discounts to camera owners who reported suspicious activity to the police. This creates concerns that the implementation of facial recognition software could contain a plethora of biases against different races and genders. The third invasive feature is a ‘proactive suspect matching’ algorithm that automatically identifies people suspected of criminal behavior. This announcement follows a letter penned by US senators demanding that Amazon disclose how video data is being stored and who is allowed access to footage.