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Amazon’s Ring has contemplated adding facial recognition to its cameras

Amazon has contemplated adding a facial recognition feature to its Ring doorbell cameras, the company revealed in a response to US Senator Ed Markey. In a letter to the Senator, Amazon said that facial recognition on Ring’s cameras is a “contemplated, but unreleased feature”. “Amazon is not doing enough to ensure that its products and practices do not run afoul of our civil liberties,” Markey said in a statement. Amazon had acquired Ring last year for a billion dollars. Ring's parent, Amazon, has a face recognition system called Rekognition, which is already being licensed by law enforcement agencies. The company is also creating a database of suspicious people using the same tech. An addition of face recognition to Ring's cameras could potentially prove detrimental to its users. Police can access footage more than a month old, no information on data sharing: Amazon said that police can ask for Ring footage that is 12 hours long, and up to 45 days old. Also, police doesn’t require an evidentiary standard to ask users for their footage, because they are “simply asking Ring users if they have relevant footage”. The company didn’t disclose if police can keep the footage forever and if they can share it with anyone, without necessarily seeking a user’s consent. Ring's data has been breached: Amazon admitted that data of Ring's customers has been breached by third-parties. It didn't specify when or how many times or how severe the breach(es) were. No oversight for protection of children: Ring doesn't have any policy or oversight in place to…

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