Police Use Facial Recognition Doorbells To Create Private Watchlist Networks

By MassPrivateI

Earlier this year, I reported that Amazon’s spying Ring doorbells are being installed everywhere and how everyone’s privacy is at stake.

But a recent CNN article revealed that Amazon wants to turn homeowners’ doorbells into facial recognition devices using their Rekogntion software.

An Amazon patent application which was made public on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, describes how a network of cameras could work together with facial recognition technology to identify people.

Amazon also wants homeowners to create their “own” private database of suspicious people, effectively creating private watchlist networks.

The application describes creating a database of suspicious persons. Unwanted visitors would be added to the list when a homeowner tags them as not authorized. Other people could be added to the database because they are a convicted felon or registered sex offender, according to the application. Residents may also alert neighbors of a suspicious person’s presence.

Because who doesn’t want to create a private watchlist of your friends and neighbors?

Amazon is not the only company that wants you to spy on your neighbors.

Nest Hello is Google’s facial recognition doorbell that can identify anyone and store their images to the cloud. Homeowners are required to sign up for a Nest Aware subscription that ranges anywhere from $5.00 to $30.00 a month.

Arlo Audio Doorbell, August’s Doorbell Cam ProSkybell and Netatmo are also profiting from turning neighbors into government spies.

Earlier this year an article in the Orlando Sentinel revealed that police have created a private neighborhood network of 10,000 spying doorbells.

Orlando Police are hoping further access to the network of about 10,000 Ring users in Orlando will help the department solve burglaries, mail thefts and other crimes.

Think about that for a minute, Orlando law enforcement has managed to subvert privacy laws by creating a private homeowner surveillance network that answers to no one.

Thanks to companies like Amazon and Google, law enforcement can create their own private watchlist networks anywhere they want. (Click here & here to find out more.)

Soon every neighborhood will be covered with spying video doorbells.

A recent article in the Washington Post warns that 3.4 million video doorbells will be sold this year alone. Can you imagine millions of homes equipped with spying doorbells? It will make Orlando’s 10,000 doorbell surveillance network look laughable.

Ring’s relationship with law enforcement is so close they created a webpage devoted to giving  discounts to neighborhoods that work with them. (To learn more about law enforcement’s close relationship with Ring click here & here.)

An article in the Detroit Free Press warns that police can use private homeowner networks to avoid
constitutional issues.

“There have been privacy concerns raised about police monitoring people, facial recognition,” he said. “That doesn’t apply to you or I. The Fourth Amendment only applies to the government.”

It is time to face the facts: DHS and law enforcement are paying lip-service to facial recognition privacy laws by encouraging retailers and homeowners to do their dirty work.

Illusion that homeowners are in control of doorbell cameras

A look at the “description” section of Amazon’s patent application reveals something truly frightening. Smart devices like Ring are designed give owners the illusion they are in control of what they record.

User-Mode Linux may allow a single physical computing machine to be shared among multiple users by providing each user with one or more virtual machines hosted by the single physical computing machine, with each such virtual machine being a software simulation acting as a distinct logical computing system that provides users with the illusion that they are the sole operators and administrators of a given hardware computing resource, while also providing application isolation and security among the various virtual machines.

So what does this mean?

It means that law enforcement and private corporations are working together to create the illusion that spying doorbells are all about public safety.

DHS and police are also encouraging homeowners and businesses to join their “platinum” spying cam-share club.

Unchecked corporate watchlists are a danger to everyone’s freedom; and DHS will not be content until every home and business has been turned into an extension of the police state.

You can read more at the MassPrivateI blog, where this article first appeared.

Top image credit: Pocket-Lint

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