Amazon has considered adding facial recognition technology to its Ring doorbell cameras, according to a letter to a U.S. senator defending its video-sharing partnerships with police.
The company told Sen. Ed Markey that facial recognition is a "contemplated, but unreleased feature" of its home security cameras but that there are no plans to coordinate that feature with its law enforcement partnerships.
Markey wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in September raising privacy and civil liberty concerns about Ring's video-sharing agreements with police departments across the country. The company encourages police to tap into Ring's Neighbors app, a forum for residents to share videos of suspicious activity captured by their home security cameras.
The Massachusetts Democrat also expressed alarm that Ring may be pursuing face-scanning technology after a patent application showed the company is exploring a system that could flag certain people as suspicious and automatically alert police.
Markey released Amazon's responses Tuesday.
"If our customers want these features in Ring security cameras, we will only release these features with thoughtful design including privacy, security, and user control," Huseman wrote.
Markey's questions about facial recognition were part of broader concerns that some lawmakers and civil liberties advocates have about Ring and its police partnerships. Amazon sought to address those concerns in its letters to Markey, emphasizing that camera owners have a choice about whether to share videos. The company noted that police aren't allowed to seek recordings that are longer than 12 hours in duration or that cover a geographical area that is too specific or broad.
But Amazon also said it doesn't require law enforcement to delete a user's video footage after a certain period. Nor would it entertain Markey's request that it commit to never selling users' biometric information, saying only that it doesn't do so now.
Markey said Tuesday that Amazon is not doing enough to ensure that its products don't run afoul of civil liberties.
"Connected doorbells are well on their way to becoming a mainstay of American households, and the lack of privacy and civil rights protections for innocent residents is nothing short of chilling," he said in a statement.
"If you're an adult walking your dog or a child playing on the sidewalk, you shouldn't have to worry that Ring's products are amassing footage of you and that law enforcement may hold that footage indefinitely or share that footage with any third parties," he added.
More than 600 police departments have signed up to Ring's network since last year and many say it is becoming a useful crime-fighting tool. Among them is the police chief of Markey's hometown of Malden, Massachusetts. Chief Kevin Molis said he is Markey's neighbor and has known him since the 1970s but disagrees with him about Ring.
"We consider it a valuable tool for public safety," Molis said in an interview. "Is it a bad thing that private citizens, in order to make their streets safer, are investing their own money in a product that's allowing crimes to be solved and crimes to be prevented?"
But staff attorney Mohammad Tajsar of the ACLU of Southern California said Amazon's responses to Markey raise grave privacy concerns. Amazon told Markey it has no way of knowing if its cameras are collecting personal data from children or positioned in such a way that they're intruding on a neighbor's privacy.
"Even if you don't sell data, or provide data to law enforcement, you're creating a mechanism whereby people can express latent biases and racism and classism in a portal that encourages it," Tajsar said.
An Israeli communications satellite Amos 17 launched in August from Florida, U.S., has reached its orbital space point, Spacecom, the company that operates the satellite, announced on Monday.
According to the Israeli company, based in the central city of Ramat Gan, the satellite has successfully completed all necessary tests and will begin its commercial operations within days.
The 250-million-U.S. dollar satellite, manufactured by U.S. aerospace giant Boeing Company, is expected to provide communications services to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe over the next 15 years.
The satellite is specifically designed to provide solutions for rising media activity in Africa, and is replacing the Amos 5 satellite, which was lost in space in December 2015.
In 2016, Spacecom also lost Amos-6 after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Monday that it will extend a temporary license loosening restrictions on business deals with Chinese tech giant Huawei for another 90 days.
It is the third time that the U.S. government allowed the U.S. firms to get 90-day extension to have "specific, limited engagements in transactions" with Huawei since the Chinese tech giant was put on the Entity List over the so-called "national security concerns," in May.
The department issued 90-day temporary licenses on May 20 and August 19 respectively, to ease off part of those export restrictions.
"The Temporary General License (TGL) extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement on Monday.
Ross also told Fox Business Network on Friday that some U.S. rural carriers are dependent on Huawei for their 3G and 4G networks, so the main purpose of the temporary licenses is to let those rural carriers continue to operate.
Outside of the TGL scope, any exports, reexports, or in-country transfers of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) will continue to require a license, if granted, after a review by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) under a presumption of denial, according to the department.
Huawei said in a statement on May 20 that the U.S. export control decision is in no one's interest and will do significant economic harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business.
Restricting Huawei from doing business in the United States will "only serve to limit the U.S. to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the U.S. lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of U.S. companies and consumers," said Huawei.
Huawei's chairman Liang Hua said on Monday at the CNBC East Tech West conference in Guangzhou that the extension's real impact on Huawei is very limited since Huawei's products are able to be shipped without the reliance on the U.S. components and chips, CNBC reported.
In an August statement, Huawei noted that "the extension of the Temporary General License does not change the fact that Huawei has been treated unjustly," and the company called on the U.S. government to put an end to this unjust treatment and remove Huawei from the Entity List.
Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly urged the United States to stop its unjustifiable bashing of Chinese enterprises, including Huawei, and to treat Chinese companies in a fair, just and non-discriminatory way.
On October 29, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson urged the United States to stop generalizing the concept of national security and unreasonably suppressing certain Chinese companies.
"We firmly oppose the United States abusing its state power and suppressing particular Chinese companies without any evidence. Such economic bullying behavior goes against the principle of market economy which the United States has always claimed to champion, nor shall it win the support of the international community," spokesperson Geng Shuang said at the press briefing.
Smartwatch, wireless earphone, intelligent eyewear and fitness band, ‘The SHOWROOM: Tech Meets Fashion’ event by Huawei presents endless possibilities to connect the world with a fashionable and elegant future.
The glittering event, held at MaisonMiaja in Singapore recently, is inspired by Huawei’s vision to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world, which is realized today by the combined features of HUAWEI’s wearable and accessories series, including Huawei’s second-generation Watch GT2, the sleek and stylish FreeBuds 3, the light and convenient Band 4, and the groundbreaking HUAWEI X GENTLE MONSTER Eyewear that promises to bring trendy smart devices to another level.
The enhanced powerful features of the connected devices are shown through multiple scenarios in the catwalk performance to emphasise the convenience and elegance of urban chic personalities: Business Executives, Fitness Enthusiasts, Homemakers, Fashionist and Tech Geeks, said a press release.
Meanwhile, the guests were also invited to try out the devices first-hand through interactive activities such as the Whisper Challenge at the Fitness & Health, Entertainment, and Mobile Office display area.
The performances and activities are designed to shine a light on the amazing features and functionalities of the wearables, bringing the audience into a journey to explore the other-worldly experience of Huawei wearables and accessories.
A good Bluetooth headset is vital to ensure quick and clear communication when you are in a call with your partners and colleagues, and this is where the FreeBuds 3 shines with its active cancellation of noise and echo that allows for fast, fuss-free calls.
The active noise cancellation of FreeBuds 3 will amaze you with its crisp and clear quality of voice communication as if your colleague or client were standing right next to you.
The connectivity of Huawei devices is further enhanced by the HUAWEI Share OneHop, HUAWEI Share and Multi-Screen collaboration functions between specific devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets, revolutionising the way users share files, pictures and videos between PC, tablets, phones and other devices.
For those looking to get in shape, watch your diet or train professionally, the process becomes altogether smoother when you own devices within the same ecosystem, all designed to work seamlessly with each other.
Wearables like the latest Watch GT2 can work as your personal sports trainer, designed to track your workouts with precise positioning systems, as well as a vast range of features such as the sedentary reminder, calorie counter, and all-day stress monitoring. Connecting the Watch GT2 to the HUAWEI Health App provides a detailed record of everything from your step count to the number of calories burned. The health data can even be analyzed to check your stress level and suggest simple steps to reduce it, the press release added.
Fair Electronics has launched another Samsung Smart Plaza at Mirpur 1 in the capital on Monday.
Consumers can experience and purchase different line of Samsung products starting from a large array of refrigerators, wide range of televisions-from the basic Samsung LED to QLED TVs, washing machines to air conditioners, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners and smartphones are on display at the outlet.
This Samsung Smart Plaza was inaugurated by local Councilor of Dhaka North City Corporation Mohammad Iqbal Hossain Titu in presence of Fair Electronics Limited Director Operations Firoze Mohammad; Channel Sales Head SM Saiful Islam and top officials from Fair Electronics Limited.
All Samsung products will come with official warranty. Customers can also avail all the promotional campaigns of Samsung there.