Privacy

Tell Amazon Ring to End Its Dangerous Police Partnerships

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Amazon Ring has set up more than 1300 partnerships with law enforcement agencies. This promotes racial profiling by exacerbating suspicion and paranoia, vastly expands police surveillance, discourages free speech, and undermines trust between police and residents.

Ring plays an active role in enabling and perpetuating police harassment of Black Americans. Please join us in demanding that Amazon Ring end these partnerships.

October 31, 2020

Dear Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff,

In light of Amazon’s recent statement condemning police violence, we demand that you follow through on your sentiments and end Ring’s troubling and dangerous partnerships with law enforcement.

A growing number of civil liberties organizations, including Center for Media Justice and Color of Change, as well as elected officials like U.S. Senator Markey, have also expressed concern. These partnerships put community members and the general public at risk of racial profiling, overpolicing, and the potential for violence.

The rapid proliferation of these partnerships—over 1300 in less than two years—without sufficient oversight, transparency, or restrictions poses a grave threat to the privacy of all people who live and work in the communities where the partnerships occur. Ring must dissolve its partnerships with police.

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Ring convinces communities to spy on themselves through doorbell cameras and its social app, Neighbors. The company recently claimed to “stand in solidarity with the Black community” and with those fighting back against police brutality and injustice. But putting surveillance tech in the hands of unaccountable police doesn’t protect anyone. It makes everyone less safe. These partnerships—made between Ring and local law enforcement, without community oversight—give police access to neighborhood cameras that surveil public spaces throughout our communities, and could even conceivably be used to identify participants in a protest through a neighborhood.

Amazon has announced a one-year moratorium on police use of its dangerous "Rekognition" facial recognition tool. This follows an announcement from IBM that it will no longer develop or research face recognition technology, in part because of its use in mass surveillance, policing, and racial profiling. We're glad Amazon has admitted that the unregulated use of face recognition can do harm to vulnerable communities. Now it's time for it to admit the dangers of Ring-police partnerships, and stand behind its statement on police brutality. Ring must end its police partnerships programs immediately. Tell Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff to end these partnerships and stop profiting off of fear.

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