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Amazon’s Doorbell Camera Raises Privacy Concerns And Social Issues

The Wolcott woodsy community in Connecticut rarely sees any crime. However, when the chief of police heard about the opportunity of distributing doorbell cameras in some households, he did not hesitate. Currently, the police keep a strict watch on the town with a population of 16,000 cameras in collaboration with the manufacturer of the cameras. Thus far, these devices have faced more of bears than actual criminals. In spite of it all, Chief of Police Ed Stephens still remains a fan of the technology. According to Stephens, he is willing to do whatever maintains the safety of the town.

However as a greater number of police agencies are joining hands with this company called Ring, these partnerships are leading to privacy concerns. There have been complaints from critics regarding the systems turning neighborhoods into areas falling under constant surveillance, thereby creating suspicion falling heavily on minorities. On the other hand, the police have termed the cameras as the digital form of neighborhood watch.

As per critics, Ring, which is an Amazon subsidiary, seems to be popularizing the cameras by giving rise to fear of crimes when the crime rates are actually on a decline. The promotional videos from Amazon show suspicious people lurking near homes. Recently, the company posted a new job offer for the position of managing editor of news who would be entrusted with the responsibility of delivering breaking news alerts of crimes to the neighbors. These cameras offer wide views from where they are placed at.

Chris Gilliard, who is a professor of English at the Macomb Community University of Michigan, has criticized Ring for long and accused Amazon to be making money off of instilling fear in people. He has also spoken about the possibility of this system reinforcing race barriers. A major chunk of the camera-selling strategy is spreading the fear about non-existent crimes.

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