Should we be afraid of connected bells? In the United States, online retail giant Amazon has announced that 400 police services have joined its program to reduce crime by using the recordings captured by connected video bells.
These devices, equipped with a camera, and the application that is associated with them – Neighbors help to improve the communication between the residents and the police stations, argues Ring, their manufacturer (bought by Amazon).
What is a connected bell?
The smart meter, which remotely removes your electricity or water consumption, is about to be installed in all French homes. But do you know the smart or connected bell?
This new device is in a way the interphone of the 21st century! The device, compact, is positioned near the front door. It is equipped with a camera and a microphone and requires a good WiFi network.
It is then connected to the smartphone whose screen can view the person who rings the door even if you are not at home.
The recording of the data can be done continuously or linked to the pressing of the button of the bell, for example.
Additional features allow face recognition or even open to open its door remotely.
These new generation intercoms are primarily intended for individual homes. A version adapted to the apartments will be able to replace the traditional peephole of the door.
This video surveillance system is intended for individuals.
The price of products, available on the Internet and the French market, varies from a few tens to a few hundred euros.
It also allows to "ask for help on ongoing investigations by retrieving video recordings" to the inhabitants.
The exploitation of data is controversial
But the device raises fears of expanded police surveillance and questions about how videos and other data will be collected and stored.
"You have two powerful organizations – Amazon and the police – that cooperate to push for more surveillance in US neighborhoods, it's pretty scary and disturbing," warns Jay Stanley, an analyst at the powerful civil rights organization. ACLU.
The program seems to capitalize on fear esteem Matthew Guariglia's side of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"By sending photos and alerts every time the camera detects a movement or someone rings the doorbell, the app can create the illusion of a besieged home."
A vicious circle" ?
"This creates a vicious circle in which the police promote the use of Ring, Ring terrifies people and makes them believe that their homes are in danger and Amazon sells more cameras."
The American online sales giant considers "misleading" information circulating on its program.
He says videos are shared only if the customer agrees or publishes them. Amazon also ensures that the police must "go through the ring team" if she wants to request a video from customers.