FB pixel

Subsidized Ring doorbell cameras could give police public surveillance network

 

Police departments all around the U.S. are offering people free or discounted Ring doorbells, in some cases funded by taxpayers, CNET reports, and in some cases in return for access to the footage they collect, which could allow them to operate a vast network of cameras with biometric facial recognition.

Ring told CNET devices donated through its Neighbor’s law enforcement partners are not intended for programs requiring subscription to a recording plan or shared access. More than 50 local police departments have partnered with the Amazon-owned smart doorbell company over the past two years, including the Tampa-area Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

The partnerships offer police more opportunities to gather footage showing evidence of crimes, while Ring charges up to $3 a month in subscription fees. Several states subsidize the purchase of the smart doorbells, and in several cities, the company provides a free camera for every 20 people who sign up for the Neighbors app. Privacy advocates are concerned about the proliferation of surveillance cameras, however.

“Essentially, we’re creating a culture where everybody is the nosy neighbor looking out the window with their binoculars,” Senior Investigative Researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation Dave Maass told CNET. “It is creating this giant pool of data that allows the government to analyze our every move, whether or not a crime is being committed.”

Maas also says the partnerships enable police to avoid the approval processes they would normally go through to add surveillance capacities.

A patent filing to add facial recognition to Ring cameras was published late last year, though no plans to add the capability have been announced, after a public backlash.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News

 

Secure Technology Alliance launches template for using mobile driver’s licenses

Get used to the idea of your phone as your driver’s license. The ecosystem for mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) continues…

 

Biometric identity verification launches and deals show diversity of approaches

The biometric identity verification market covers a wide variety of sectors and use cases, but the breadth is not just…

 

Decentralized digital identity is spreading as fresh use cases emerge

A recent post on Forrester’s website, written by VP and Principal Analyst Andras Cser, dips into how travel and mobile…

 

Cameroon building Digital Transformation Center to manage digital consular services

As part of a process launched last year by the government of Cameroon to modernize its consular services including the…

 

UK digital visas to fully replace physical immigration documents by 2025

In the UK, the Home Office has announced that it will invite those with physical immigration documents to create a…

 

iBeta biometric PAD evaluations grow in global prominence

Compliance with biometric presentation attack detection standards has become table stakes for numerous applications of face biometrics in particular, and…

Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read From This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events