The author trying to explain his Ring camera to his neighbor Photo: Max Read I didn’t really think I’d ever have a Ring doorbell. I knew that “millions of users” worldwide had installed one of the many cloud-enabled security devices sold by the company, which is owned by Amazon, and I’d seen dozens of quasi-viral Ring-camera videos, often broadcast on local television news: clips of porch pratfalls, curious animals, petty criminals, particularly skilled or incompetent delivery drivers, all providentially recorded and uploaded by the Ring’s fisheye lens to the cloud. But I’m not personally much troubled by petty crime — I’ve had a package stolen only once in the ten years I’ve lived in New York — and I couldn’t see myself getting much mileage out of a video doorbell, except to prank friends and annoy my girlfriend. On the other hand, I am very troubled by dystopian future-tech. Over the last year I’d spent a lot of time reading about Ring — dozens of articles published in the Intercept, Recode, Vice, and Cnet — detailing the company’s sloppy security practices, secretive police partnerships, and many potential privacy violations. Ring was a prominent rationale for the tech experts who named Amazon… Read full this story
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