Just got an email from Neighbourhood Watch about sharing your CCTV and Amazon ‘Ring’ footage.
You might want to consider privacy issues before going ahead and joining.
Consider how your friends, relatives and neighbours might feel if they knew your home CCTV or Amazon ‘Ring’ doorbell was linked to a police crime prevention or surveillance system.
Think about it. Having a CCTV or ‘Ring’ doorbell will certainly deter criminals and thus help prevent crime for you and maybe your neighbour, but sharing this info after a crime has been committed also means handing a whole bunch of of other data on your social circle and routines to the police.
I fully support our police force but wish they had the manpower and resources to prevent crime and keep our communities safe – not be limited to depending on others to help catch criminals after a crime has already been committed.
Of course, all captured footage of a crime should be passed to the police asap. But this whole trend of putting more and more expectation and dependency on the public, is a worrying trend that impacts on the expectation that what we do with our friends, relatives and neighbours is a social function that strengthens community bonds and trust – and not subject to real or potential oversight by some ‘Other’. And as we know, the system and technology nay be set up with the best of intentions but the same does not go for those few employees who might want to profit from the rich data gathered together and analysed from the CCTV footage.
The application form states
“. Your details will be accessible only to the police, local council, and your borough’s lead for Neighbourhood Watch. ”
Consider – who does the police sub-contract some of their work to?
What checks are made on council staff and how many of them might be temp or agency workers?
How secure are computers and terminals in council offices many of which are open plan and where people hot-desk.
How thorough is staff training and monitoring of privacy and data protection?
If, having considered all of the above and wish to make part of your social life an open book and infringe on the privacy of your friends, family and neighbours, Here’s part of the email with links.
Dear Watch Member,
A patent application by commerce giant Amazon describes a smart doorbell that would use a camera to monitor users’ neighborhoods using facial recognition technology and report suspicious activity to the authorities. Needless to say, it immediately made privacy advocates uncomfortable.
“The patent is a roadmap for Amazon’s disturbing vision of surveillance in the future,” American Civil Liberties Union attorney Jacob Snow told CNN Business. “People have the right to go about their daily lives without being watched and tracked. And there’s no assurance the resolution of the doorbell camera is very good.”
Read Full Article at: A New Amazon Camera Patent Is Straight Out of “1984”