Amazon’s annual product launch overshadowed by growing backlash

Amazon’s annual product launch overshadowed by growing backlash to surveillance-based business model

annual product launch

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Controversial Ring police partnerships add to growing privacy and civil liberties concerns surrounding Amazon products

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Tomorrow, Amazon will hold their annual product launch amid growing concerns about the company’s internal privacy practices, as well as controversial surveillance partnerships between Amazon Ring and local police departments.

Evan Greer, deputy director of digital rights group Fight for the Future, issued the following statement: “Every year Amazon releases new products with surveillance features that record our voices, scan our faces, and harvest our personal information. This is not progress. This not innovation. This is Amazon’s continued effort to build a for-profit, surveillance dragnet without oversight and accountability, and bone-graft itself to the US government because it envisions a future where its monopoly status is impossible to challenge, inextricable from authoritarian structures.”

Amazon annual product launch and Ring

Amazon-Ring has entered into partnerships with police departments in over 400 cities, most of the were entered into without any debate or approval from local elected officials or the community. These partnerships provide an end run around the democratic process and pose serious privacy and civil liberties threats. Amazon gives police a warrantless process for requesting and storing unlimited footage, giving them a literal eye inside residents' homes and the surrounding area, and in exchange, the police department markets Amazon’s surveillance technology. US Senator Ed Markey sent a letter to Jeff Bezos asking questions about the partnerships, and even The Monitoring Association, a security industry trade association, issued a statement expressing concern.

Fight for the Future has launched a national campaign calling on local elected officials to cancel police departments’ existing partnerships with Amazon Ring and enact policies to prevent them from doing so in the future.

What do you think?



About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver