E-commerce giants are not in the odor of holiness for US Democratic Senator Edward John Markey, who denounces their role in mass surveillance thanks to specific data in Ring and Nest devices and disclosed to law enforcement .
Because for 3 years, the exchanges have been quintupled, which poses some difficulties, the data transferred in emergency situations being transferred without the express consent of the users and this without the slightest control upstream.
A situation presented in the instructions for the devices in question
However, this situation is unambiguous, the conditions of use of these devices mentioning very clearly that Google is required to communicate certain data to the administrative authorities in the context of civil, administrative and criminal cases, as well as those related to security. national.
Compliance with US law is however required, but proven a minimumas well as that of the State which would also be likely to make the request, in accordance with the international texts in force as finally the rules enacted by Google.
On the Amazon side, the company says it discloses the contents of customer accounts and other personal information when it is legally obliged to do so or if such disclosure is necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of Amazon, users or other people.
For Amazon, this poses no difficulty since the company admits disclosing a certain amount of information relating to its customers, including personal information, however in very specific cases, in order to protect the rights, property or safety of Amazon, users or other persons.
An alarming situation for the Senator, who intends to restore order.
“So far this year, Ring has provided video to law enforcement in response to an emergency request only 11 times. In each case, we determined in good faith that there was an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to a person, requiring the disclosure of information without delay. » in Amazon’s own words in a press release issued following the Senator’s intervention.
“If we have reasonable grounds to believe that we can prevent a person from dying or sustaining serious physical injury, we may provide information to a government agency (for example, in connection with bomb threats, shootings in a school, kidnappings, suicide prevention and the search for missing persons). We always review such requests in accordance with applicable laws and our rules. » says the firm.
Non-existent control by the authorities
Except that Edward John Markey’s speech is not aimed at emergency situations, but on the contrary, a generality as indicated by Jason Kelley and Matthew Guariglia for the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), “ guarantees for the protection of civil liberties are insufficient in this process “. denouncing abuses due to a flagrant lack of control.
In addition, the scope of data collection, in particular thanks to Ring, is worrying, given the 8 m of audio spectrum of the device, which risks involving a certain number of people and no longer a single one.
“It has become increasingly difficult for the public to move around, meet and converse in public without being tracked and recorded. We cannot accept that this is inevitable in our country. Law enforcement’s growing reliance on private surveillance is creating an accountability crisis, and I’m particularly concerned that biometric surveillance could become a central part of the growing network of surveillance systems, including Amazon. and other powerful technology companies are responsible. » for his part concluded Senator Markey.
Sources: Amazon, Google, WebProNews,