How Amazon Ring used domestic violence to sell doorbell cameras

A similar video was captured in Arcadia, California, in September 2019. Wearing what looked like pajamas, a woman runs into the frame of another doorbell camera. He, too, looked over his shoulder as he knocked, but what made him quickly caught up. As he shouted “No!” and trying to resist, the man pulled her by his hair to the front lawn. The vision was obstructed, but he showed that he was hit frequently and trampled on. Finally, he said, “Get up or I’ll kill you.”

These videos reveal terrifying moments, and experts say the individuals captured by the camera have no control over what happens to the images. In the same case, the camera belongs to a stranger, and so does the video. The homeowner is in agreement with Amazon’s terms of service and chooses how to share the video-whether it’s uploaded to the Neighbors app, provided by the police, or delivered to the media.

The man in the shoot “had no relationship with the company… and never agreed to cut their appearance, made product,” said Angel Díaz, senior counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. Critics like Díaz argue that such videos are essential to become free marketing material for the Ring, which is traded on fear and voyeurism.

The company counters that videos like this, outraged at what they are, help protect the public. “The ring built Neighbors to empower people to share vital safety information with each other and connect with the public safety agencies that serve them,” Daniels, a spokesman for the Ring, wrote in an email statement.

And, Ring said, it takes steps to protect the privacy of people seen in such videos. “When it comes to sharing customer videos with the media or our proprietary channels, our current policy is that we get a release or weed the face of every identifiable person in the video on the left. we still share. “

If violent incidents like this are captured on camera and shared, above it can be seen that the video surveillance system and neighbors watching each other are functioning as they should. Video evidence will definitely help police and prosecutors. But advocates for victims of domestic violence say that if these intimate moments are made public, the people involved are also victims, by losing their power to make their own decisions. The women in such videos may want and need help, as do the lawyers – but not necessarily from the police.

In Manor, Texas, for example, police charged the man in the video with third-degree criminal arrest. But the woman in the video later told local reporters she was looking for a lawyer to try to drop the charges.

“They sell fear in exchange for people giving up their privacy.”

Angel Díaz, Brennan Center for Justice

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