Amazon's surveillance doorbell marketers help cops get warrantless access to video footage from peoples' homes

Every time I write about the unfolding scandal of Amazon's secret partnerships with hundreds of US police departments who get free merch and access to Ring surveillance doorbell footage in exchange for acting as a guerrilla marketing street-team for Ring, I get an affronted email from Amazon PR, implying that I got it all wrong, but unwilling to enter into detailed discussions of what's actually going on (the PR flacks also usually ask to be quoted officially but anonymously, something I never agree to). Read the rest

Amazon's secret deals with local cops give them access to realtime 911 data for use in scary alerts sent to Ring owners

Mining the results of public records requests relating to Amazon's secret deals with local law enforcement to promote its Ring surveillance doorbells (more than 200 agencies!) continue to bear fruit. Read the rest

Cop says Amazon told him they had "partnered" with 200 US police forces to sell and tap into Ring surveillance doorbells

Last week, Motherboard reported on a public record request that revealed that Amazon had struck confidential deals with local police forces to get them to promote the company's Internet of Things "Ring" doorbells, and the accompanying "Neighbors" app that produces a kind of private surveillance mesh overlooking nearby public spaces -- under the terms of the deal, cops would be able to see a map noting locations of Ring surveillance cams and request footage from their owners. Read the rest

Dusting for dog-crap in a fancy condo

The condo association at Scarlett Place, a posh Baltimore building, have proposed to DNA-test all the dogs on the premises, and use DNA from errant dog-turds to identify feckless owners and fine them $500 per dog-pie.

Using all the dog swabs, BioPet would create a doggie database of sorts for the complex. It would compare all those samples to the mysterious doggie-doo. When BioPet identifies the guilty pooch, the owner would pay a $500 fine.

"We pay all this money, and we're walking around stepping in dog poop," resident Steven Frans told The Sun. "We bring guests over and this is what they're greeted by."

Frans is the board member who proposed the plan, calling it a reasonable and objective way to find the culprit.

DNA Could Solve Doggie-Doo Caper (via Freakonomics Blog)

(Image: A New Way to Complain About Dog Poop, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from aoifecitywomanchile's photostream)

How to make a minpin poop compost bin: an illustrated guide ... Woman fined for picking up the wrong dog's poop Barbie doll set comes with plastic dog crap Al Jaffee's dog crap epoxy invention Designer dog poo bags Gadgets Taiwan city launches new cash-for-poop initiative Dogs and cats, living together ... mass hysteria! Read the rest