Amazon tells senator it’s considered face-scanning doorbells

Amazon tells senator it’s considered face-scanning doorbells
FILE - In this July 16, 2019, file photo, Ernie Field pushes the doorbell on his Ring doorbell camera at his home in Wolcott, Conn. Amazon says it has considered adding facial recognition technology to its Ring doorbell cameras. The company said in a letter released Tuesday, Nov. 19 by U.S. Sen. Ed Markey that facial recognition is a “contemplated, but unreleased feature” of its home security cameras. The Massachusetts Democrat wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in September raising privacy and civil liberty concerns about Ring’s video-sharing partnerships with hundreds of police departments around the country. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Amazon says it has considered adding facial recognition technology to its Ring doorbell cameras.

The company is telling Congress that facial recognition is a “contemplated, but unreleased feature” of its home security cameras.

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in September raising privacy and civil liberty concerns about Ring’s video-sharing partnerships with hundreds of police departments around the country.

The Massachusetts Democrat also expressed alarm that Ring may be pursuing face-scanning technology that could flag certain people as suspicious.

Markey released Amazon’s latest response Tuesday.

Amazon’s initial response to Markey said Ring doesn’t currently offer facial recognition. But in a follow-up, Amazon said it frequently innovates based on customer demand and facial recognition is an increasingly common feature in cameras made by competitors such as Google.