I’m trying to figure out why, exactly, you believe a Ring would be a bad look—not because I doubt it, but because there are so many possible reasons to choose from. There is the fact that the systems, whose signature blue halos blink across America’s residential neighborhoods like the all-seeing eyes of Argus, form what is essentially a massive for-profit surveillance network, one that law enforcement agencies can access without a warrant or probable cause. There is the fact that the technology contributes to arrests for petty crimes in an era when we’re well aware that encounters with the police can be fatal. There is the very real possibility, given patents Amazon has registered, that the cameras will soon use biometric sensors to identify people by their skin texture, gait, and smell (this from a corporation whose facial recognition software is notorious for misidentifying non-white faces). Then there is the Ring-adjacent social app for reporting “suspicious” people, which Amazon chose to christen, in a spirit that was either laughably ingenuous or brashly Orwellian, “Neighbors.”
But it seems to me that your question gets at a more fundamental dilemma, that you’re asking not merely whether you should buy one of these systems but, more broadly, what it means to be a good neighbor in the age of mass surveillance, gentrification, and police violence. Considering the pop
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