No police partnerships on facial recognition in Seattle

This action is adapted from Fight for the Future: https://www.fightforthefuture.org/news/2019-07-31-fight-for-the-future-launches-new-campaign-calling/

On Wednesday, digital rights group Fight for the Future launched a nationwide campaign calling on mayors and elected city officials around the country to stop local law enforcement agencies from partnering with Amazon on an invasive domestic surveillance program powered by Amazon’s smart camera doorbell device — Ring.

The campaign comes on the heels of an alarming investigative piece by Motherboard (https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5wyjy/amazon-told-police-it-has-partnered-with-200-law-enforcement-agencies) that uncovered evidence that at least 200 law enforcement agencies across the country have entered into these private surveillance partnerships. The investigation illustrates how Amazon has supplied local law enforcement agencies with subsidized Ring devices and trainings on Amazon’s Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal surveillance software app — free of charge. These technologies — Ring and its app — and the software trainings amount to a seamless and user friendly dragnet for police departments.

Ring’s clear marketing approach is to sell the idea that these cameras make our neighborhoods safer, even though crime rates have fallen consistently since the early 1990s. Dramatically increasing the number of cameras in a city certainly doesn’t make that city safer for populations that are historically over-policed and surveilled. And, as we learned this week with the hack of credit card application data if over 100 million people from Capital One and stored on an Amazon server, the creation of one location for all the data of everyone in the country at all times only serves to put all of us at risk.

Today's Action: Tell our City Leaders to ban police partnerships on facial recognition

Today we're going to contact four city officials: Mayor Jenny Durkan, our at-large City Councilmembers, and our district City Councilmember.

Sample script:

Hi, I've heard that Amazon has partnered with over 200 police departments to help sell facial recognition doorbells across the country. Seattle should never be one of these cities. These technologies amount to a seamless and user-friendly dragnet for police departments, and the creation of one location for all the data of everyone in the country at all times only serves to put all of us at risk. I want to see the city ban these sorts of partnerships. Will you promise me that you'll fight to make this happen?

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