surveillance
October 8, 2019

A group of more than 30 civil rights organizations published an open letter requesting that government officials put an end to Amazon Ring's partnerships with police.

Amazon's Ring, a home surveillance and security company, has been under fire for partnering with more than 400 police forces. The company provides officers with a map of local Ring camera placements and a portal to directly request footage from users. Amazon has been tracking how users respond to requests from the police, and has provided that data to departments, reports Gizmodo.

Police then act as de facto advertisers for Ring, promoting the devices explicitly by encouraging people to use them or implicitly by using language provided by Amazon, reports Vice News.

The letter, published by advocacy group Fight for the Future, states that partnerships between the tech giant and police forces "pose a threat to civil rights and liberties, especially for black and brown communities already targeted and surveilled by law enforcement." Fight for the Future Deputy Director Evan Greer told Vice News this is the first time a major coalition is calling for officials to act on this partnership.

Greer wants officials to at least explore the implications for when tech companies "enter into these cozy partnerships with law enforcement," he said. "There's no oversight for what [police] can do with [data] once they collect it." Taylor Watson

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