Amazon's use of facial recognition has sparked fears of an authoritarian future resembling that described by George Orwell. Privacy advocates and campaigners have said Amazon using facial recognition in its smart doorbells could provide the perfect tool for extreme surveillance. The campaigners called the technology'nightmarish' and'disturbing'. Amazon bought the US-based firm Ring earlier this year. The doorbell company has previously filed for a patent to use facial recognition in its products.
Ding-dong, your doorbell is looking a bit creepy. Ring video doorbells, Nest Hello and other connected security cameras are the fastest-growing home improvement gadgets since garage-door openers. These cameras, often built into buzzers, alert your phone when someone is at your door and save footage online. Mine has helped me get deliveries and catch porch pirates stealing packages. Earlier this month, one caught a man licking a family's doorbell for three hours.
It has been a terrible week for Apple. Not only did the tech company report its first decline in revenues and profits in more than a decade, but it was embroiled in an embarrassing privacy scandal. A much-discussed bug in its FaceTime app meant that, in certain circumstances, you could turn someone's iPhone into an all-seeing, all-hearing spying device. The glitch was a blow to Apple's reputation for security, and a reminder that our smartphones are essentially surveillance tools. Even if your apps aren't riddled with bugs or malware, your phone is probably transmitting more of your private information than you realise.
DETROIT – As doorbell cameras and other smart home surveillance systems become more common, experts are urging homeowners: Don't rush to post that video of the suspected burglar on your front porch until you've talked to police. "We like to be notified first so we can start our investigation prior to the public starting their investigation," said Matt Koehn, public safety director in Berkley, Michigan. An uptick in interest in home security systems, particularly affordable and easy-to-monitor doorbell cameras, and social media platforms, such as Nextdoor and Facebook, make it easier than ever for homeowners to share videos and photos of suspicious activities in their neighborhoods. But authorities warn what gets posted on social media may not be accurate and can create unnecessary hysteria, particularly if an arrest has already been made that the public doesn't know about. And in some instances, people may be falsely accusing someone of a crime when that person had a legitimate reason for being on their porch.