Amazon’s Echo and Ring devices are, at heart, surveillance devices. They record our conversations, capture video footage of our lives, track our faces, and partner with police to build a nationwide surveillance network. They exploit our intimate moments and sensitive personal information for their profits.
Amazon devices don’t make us safer. Its executives recently admitted there are no safeguards in place to protect our data, privacy, or our civil liberties in their Ring doorbell cameras and surveillance police partnerships. Like any private company, Amazon should require a probable cause warrant before giving user data to police.
Amazon also has a long-standing partnership with the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Its intelligence community cloud services smooth the rollout of the surveillance state.
In response to Amazon’s blatant disregard for our basic rights and security, a group of US senators sent letters demanding answers. But now that lawmakers in DC are asking questions, Amazon will dispatch its army of lobbyists and call in its favors with the politicians it helped elect. There’s nothing it won’t do to avoid scrutiny and accountability.
To stop Amazon, we need to build grassroots pressure on lawmakers to launch a full Congressional investigation of Amazon.
Amazon is going to continue to expand its surveillance network. As always, it will take advantage of the next holiday season to sell more devices that listen to us and watch us.
We need lawmakers to intervene. A Congressional hearing will help to expose Amazon’s invasive data harvesting practices and restrict it from acting as a paid informant for the surveillance state.
If you want to protect privacy and your Fourth Amendment rights, tell Congress to investigate Amazon. Together, we can shut down the surveillance dragnet.