Amazon is planning to use facial recognition software and its Ring smart home security devices to create an artificial-intelligence enabled “neighborhood watch list,” according to reports. According to internal documents reviewed by The Intercept, the “watch list” would automatically alert a Ring owner with a “suspicious activity prompt” on their mobile phones when an individual that was deemed “suspicious” was captured in the camera frame. The report, unveiled this week, said it remains unclear who would have access to these neighborhood watch lists or how they would be collected and compiled. However, the documents reviewed by The Intercept repeatedly refer to law enforcement – leading to speculation that it may involve Ring’s controversial partnership with more than 600 police departments across the country, to allow them to request access to camera footage from camera owners. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The report also leaves unclear what constitutes a “suspicious” individual, and how facial features of “suspicious” individuals could be collected in the first place. Earlier this year, Motherboard reported that Ring was offering product discounts to camera owners who could identify anyone who they considered to be “unusual” and report them to the police. In addition to alerting users via an in-app notification when the “suspicious” individual appears near their Ring doorbell, the feature would also offer a “Notify Neighbors” button. And,…
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