Amazon announced the Ring drone, and it’s creepy as hell. Not just because the concept of an always-on video feed of the inside of your house is creepy (it is). Not just because the video created by the always-on camera is sent to remote servers and who-knows-what is done with it (also creepy). But also because of the super creepy history of the company who built the camera and is marketing it to you.
Ring has privacy issues. This has been well-documented. In a 2019 lette to lawmakers, Ring copped to firing four employees for accessing customer video data outside of their normal responsiblities. The fact that it’s possible for this to happen shows a lack of concern for customer privacy.
Also in 2019, the Intercept reported that Ring gave their Ukraine-based R&D team an S3 bucket with recordings of every Ring video ever. The report claims that there was no policy or system to restrict how the R&D team used the video.
How is it a good idea to give this company access to a remotely-controllable remotely-accessible video device inside my home?
All of this from the same company that will helpfully deliver packages inside your locked home.
And from the same company that has “partnered” with Police departments all over the country to provide access to the privately-owned cameras customers put on or in their houses, as well as a convenient map of all the cameras installed.
Some folks have the poor stance “Oh if you’re not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?” Which is irrelevant; it’s not Amazon’s business what goes on inside my home despite their repeated attempts to make it their business.
In addition to the lax security and customer privacy, this is literally inviting the police state into your house. It’s dystopian.
It’s awfully disappointing that so little of the coverage of the announcement of this device touched on Amazon and Ring’s anti-customer and anti-privacy history. There’s no reason people should trust them with this level of access.
Update (October 28th): Removed a whole bunch of erronious references to Nest, a Google company. Got my wires crossed.