By Trey Rusk
Amazon bought Ring. Ring is a surveillance camera doorbell company. The big news is that Amazon has partnered with Law Enforcement across the country to establish surveillance networks.
Major cities like Houston have offered free or discounted Ring devices in an effort to surveille entire neighborhoods. This allows police to track suspects around the city.
Tax dollars from cities across the country are being applied to this program.
Here is what's bothering some people. Some police departments require that you share your video footage with them as a condition when you accept funds to install Ring.
Amazon/Ring is having second thoughts about this requirement and has issued the following statement. "Ring does not support programs that require recipients to subscribe to a recording plan or that footage from Ring devices be shared as a condition for receiving a donated device. We are actively working with partners to ensure this is reflected in their programs."
Isn't Amazon also a big player in facial recognition? Yes. This is the same company that can place a device in your home that will control other devices by voice command. Amazon freely admits to listening to residents conversations and uses the data for advertising. So tell me why would someone buy a bugging device and place it in their home? Are people really giving up their privacy for convenience? Yes.
Residents pay Amazon/Ring $3 a month for the Ring subscription. They also belong to a neighborhood app that allows them to see what's going on in their area through other doorbell cameras when neighbors upload suspicious people on their doorstep or suspicious vehicles driving by their residence.
50 or more police departments have partnered with Amazon/Ring. I believe it will solve a lot of crimes and criminals will become wary resulting in a reduction of criminal activity.
Mohammed Tajsar with the ACLU in Southern California stated, "What we have here is a perfect marriage between law enforcement and one of the world's biggest companies creating conditions for a society that few people would want to be a part of."
Eric Piza, an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice stated, "It seems like a fair trade-off. They are probably perfectly fine with police being able to look at the street view outside their house."
As a result of the program, police departments can now geo-fence areas of a city to look for criminals which before would have taken a lot of man power. Detectives can view a suspect from their desk, record an offense and send the case to the District Attorney for charges.
That's the way I see it.