Amazon Ring patents dystopian doorbell camera that identifies people by their skin texture and odor
AMAZON's doorbell system, Ring, has just secured 17 new patents and some of the features have privacy campaigners worried.
Ring's tentative new features would employ artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition systems to identify strangers and perform other tasks that some find dystopian.
For starters, Ring may soon be able to remember frequent callers, as well as notify homeowners when a stranger approaches their home.
This “visitor recognition system” would also be able to send alerts regarding suspicious cars (noting the make, model, and color), and animals whenever they are in the home's vicinity.
Amazon's patent for the visitor detection algorithm system and method was approved in the US in October.
Some of the other patents, which were recently lodged with the European Patent Office, suggest that Ring might start analyzing people's faces, hair color, height, weight, and clothing.
And if the algorithm deemed someone as "suspicious," the doorbell may utilize facial recognition technology to identify them by their face, retinas, skin texture, voice, and even odor.
The patents further detail a feature where the doorbell systems in a single neighborhood can not only access each others' records but create composite images of people the algorithm deems "suspicious."
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This type of biometric recognition has several privacy organizations concerned, including Charity Privacy International.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission also entertained the idea of taking Amazon Ring to court for alleged privacy and data security violations.
However, the legal proceedings were halted due to undisclosed reasons.
Ring has said that neither facial recognition nor the features outlined in the patent are currently “in development or in use.”
In other news, Apple Music is taking on Spotify with a new half price plan with a twist.
Snapchat has revealed it has given away a whopping $250million (£189million) to its creators over the last year.
And people are being urged to look out for fake Omicron emails landing in inboxes in the coming days
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