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House Subcommittee Knocking at Amazon’s Door Over Ring Data

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February 21, 2020

Lawmakers want answers from Amazon as civil liberties, privacy and surveillance concerns surrounding its Ring doorbell camera continue to mount.

In a letter to Amazon Feb. 19, Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, requested numerous documents and policies from the company, including how it partners with law enforcement agencies. The letter indicates the subcommittee is examining “traditional constitutional protections against surveilling Americans” and balancing civil liberties with security interests.

“The Subcommittee is seeking more information regarding why cities and law enforcement agencies enter into these agreements,” Krishnamoorthi said in the letter. “The answer appears to be that Ring gives them access to a much wider system of surveillance than they could build themselves, and Ring allows law enforcement access to a network of surveillance cameras on private property without the expense to taxpayers of having to purchase, install, and monitor those cameras.”

In 2019, Senate lawmakers voice similar concerns in a letter to Amazon Chief Executive Office Jeff Bezos when reports surfaced that Amazon Ring’s at-home camera systems were sharing information with police departments. At the time, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said such data sharing “could easily create a surveillance network that places dangerous burdens on people of color.”

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This article was posted: Friday, February 21, 2020 at 4:45 am

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