Amazon workers reportedly watching your home footage recorded by its cloud cam indoor security camera
We live in a time where we depend on technology for almost everything we do. Our lives are permeated with technology gadgets. We rise and sleep with them. It’s probably time for us to kiss our privacy and freedom goodbye. According to troubling report by Bloomberg, Amazon workers are reportedly watching your home footage and using video snippets sent by customers for troubleshooting purposes and to train artificial intelligence algorithms.
The home security devices that are meant to monitor your and protect you from intruders are now being used to monitor all your actions and steps. According to Amazon promotional video, the Cloud Cam artificially intelligent device also requires help from a squad of invisible employees.
“Dozens of Amazon workers based in India and Romania review select clips captured by Cloud Cam,” according to Bloomberg report citing five people who have worked on the program or have direct knowledge of it. Those video snippets are then used to train the AI algorithms to do a better job distinguishing between a real threat (a home invader) and a false alarm (the cat jumping on the sofa).
What most Amazon Cloud Cam users may not realize is that, they have to agree with “Amazon Terms of Service” before they can use the device, whether you read it or not. The Amazon Cloud Cam terms of service explicitly says the following:
Cloud Cam streams your Cloud Cam recordings to the cloud when it detects motion. Amazon processes and retains your Cloud Cam Recordings in the cloud to provide and improve our products and services. You give us all permissions we need to use your Cloud Cam Recordings to do so. These permissions include, for example, the rights to copy your Cloud Cam Recordings, modify your Cloud Cam Recordings to generate clips, use information about your Cloud Cam Recordings to organize them on your behalf, and review your Cloud Cam Recordings to provide technical support. Learn more about Cloud Cam, including how to delete your video clips.
It should be obvious to users that putting a security camera in their homes, especially a cloud-connected cam that feeds video to an unknown remote server, could potentially cause some privacy concerns. The question is, is it worth giving up your privacy for protection against unknown intruders?
Update: Since the story went live, we received an email from Wade Molly, a PR Manager for Amazon Devices. Below is what he said.
Statement, attributable to Amazon spokesperson
“We take privacy seriously and put Cloud Cam customers in control of their video clips. Only customers can view their clips, and they can delete them at any time by visiting the Manage My Content and Devices page.
Using the ‘feedback’ option in the Cloud Cam app, customers are able to share a specific clip with Amazon to improve the service. When a customer chooses to share a clip, it may get annotated and used for supervised learning to improve the accuracy of Cloud Cam’s computer vision systems. For example, supervised learning helps Cloud Cam better distinguish different types of motion so we can provide more accurate alerts to customers.”