Amazon-owned home security company Ring has been accused of using fear and unethical way of promoting its Doorbell camera brand, they have shared a suspected thief video as a promotion post of Facebook. Most of the discussion arises because of the Ring neighbor app that has posted the video in the first place, as per the reports of the Motherboard.
Ring spokesperson told that this kind of sponsored post has actually the feature support behind it and they are called community alerts. Here is the full statement:
Ring’s Community Alerts help keep neighborhoods safe by encouraging the community to work directly with local police on active cases. Alerts are created using publicly posted content from the Neighbors app that has a verified police report case number. We get the explicit consent of the Ring customer before the content is posted, and utilize sponsored, geotargeted posts to limit the content to relevant communities. Community members can then directly share or post tips to help local police contact persons of interest or investigate crimes.
The e-commerce giant has called out for promoting a culture where neighbors are being encouraged to highlight to publically suspect the worst about those they see through the lens. Furthermore, Ring says that law enforcement does not review or approve the post, plus they are not intentionally linking the products in sponsored ads.
A Twitter user Jon Hendren tweeted, “Is it legal for Ring or Amazon to use faces of people, suspected by their customers to have done crimes, in an advertisement? Especially given they have not consented or been convicted or anything. seems uhhh not right,”
One thing to be mentioned here, it is the duty of Mountain View Police Department (MVPD) which suspects the person whether he committed thievery or not. Not some Ring company or ring customer with a wild theory, and the police were spreading this footage merely to promote Doorbell camera brand.
An MVPD spokesperson confirmed that the police department didn’t ask to post this footage. But the other big question Ring company sponsored post on Facebook count as advertising, in this case, they might be violating one person’s civil rights.