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A U.S. congressman is asking Amazon if it plans to place a moratorium on police access to its Ring smart doorbell video footage, citing concerns around surveillance and racial bias. The inquiry comes on the heels of Amazon saying it would halt the sale of its Rekognition facial recognition platform to police departments (mimicking similar moves by Microsoft and IBM) in June. But Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, argued that Amazon’s commitment to joining “the fight against systemic racism and injustice” is undermined as long as it continues its existing partnership with police departments for Ring doorbell access. “The Subcommittee is concerned that these partnerships give police a much wider system of surveillance than police legally could build themselves,” according to the letter, sent Wednesday. “Law enforcement agencies can view videos shared by users in the Neighbors app, request video from users through the Neighbors Portal, or request video directly from Ring. Once law enforcement agencies have access to consumers’ data, Ring has made it clear that the agencies can use, store, and share that data however they want.” The partnerships between Ring and law enforcement began in 2018 and has extended to now include at least 1,300 police departments across the U.S. The partnership allows homeowners to provide voluntary access to camera footage to officers, via a Neighbors app. This is a companion app to…

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