Sen. Markey condemns TV show based on Amazon’s Ring doorbell recordings

Senator Ed Markey speaks on the Back the Thrive Agenda press convention on the Longworth Office Building on September 10, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Jemal Countess | Getty Images

Democratic senator and privateness hawk Ed Markey, D-Mass., made clear he isn’t amused by a brand new caught-on-camera-style show that includes clips from Amazon’s Ring doorbells.

Deadline first reported on the brand new syndicated MGM Television sequence, “Ring Nation,” earlier this month. The show, which is predicted to launch on Sept. 26, will characteristic video clips from Ring doorbell cameras and will likely be hosted by comic Wanda Sykes.

The show brings collectively two Amazon subsidiaries: Ring and MGM, which the corporate formally acquired earlier this yr.

But it additionally places a cheery spin on a product that has been criticized as a software for surveillance and an emblem of overreach by regulation enforcement. According to Deadline, clips from Ring would come with movies of “neighbors saving neighbors, marriage proposals, military reunions and silly animals.”

“With Ring Nation, Amazon appears to be producing an outright advertisement for its own products and masking it as entertainment,” Markey mentioned in a press release on Twitter, sharing a Hollywood Reporter article that includes his criticism of the sequence. “The Ring platform has made over-policing and over-surveillance a problem for America’s neighborhoods, and its normalization is no laughing matter.”

Markey, who has beforehand probed privateness considerations and police cooperation at Ring and Amazon, and  mentioned in a press release the show is “no ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos'” and mentioned, “Amazon must focus instead on making strong safety and accountability commitments to Ring users and ensure that neighbors aren’t robbed of their privacy and civil liberties.”

An MGM spokesperson instructed Hollywood Reporter that the show will get permission for every video “from the owner and anyone identifiable in the video or from companies that hold the rights to the clips.”

Ring pointed Hollywood Reporter to an audit by the Policing Project at New York University’s regulation faculty, that claims due to its findings, the corporate “implemented over one hundred changes to its products, policies, and legal practices.” Ring paid $25,000 to assist with the prices of the audit, which the Policing Project donated to a non-profit group, in keeping with Hollywood Reporter.

Amazon didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark.

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