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E-commerce Giant Amazon Faces Flak for ‘Promoting’ Doorbell Camera Brand

As of now, it remains unclear whether Amazon would be investigated on this subject or not

Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

Amazon-owned home security company Ring has been accused of exploiting the emotion of fear to sell its doorbell cameras and sharing a “suspected” thief’s video as a promoted post on Facebook.

The e-commerce giant has been called out for promoting a culture where neighbours are encouraged to publicly suspect the worst about those they see and observe through the lens, The Verge reported on Thursday.

Most of that discussion has centred around Ring’s “Neighbours” app, an opt-in community where Ring owners publish their own videos.

“Is it legal for Ring or Amazon to use faces of people, suspected by their customers to have done crimes, in an advertisement? Especially given they have not consented or been convicted or anything. seems uhhh not right,” a Twitter user wrote in reaction to the video.

Meanwhile, a Ring spokesperson said this sort of sponsored post is actually a feature it supports, implying that this is not a one-off.

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An Amazon Prime Truck is on the Road in Virginia, transporting thousands of items ordered from online giant Amazon. (D Bekheet/VOA)

“Ring’s Community Alerts help keep neighbourhoods safe by encouraging the community to work directly with local police on active cases. Alerts are created using publicly posted content from the Neighbours app that has a verified police report case number,” the report quoted the spokesperson as saying,

“We get the explicit consent of the Ring customer before the content is posted, and utilize sponsored, geo-targeted posts to limit the content to relevant communities,” the spokesperson added.

On the other hand, the Mountain View Police Department (MVPD) said that the department, although grateful for the “additional outreach”, did not ask Ring to post the footage online.

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As of now, it remains unclear whether Amazon would be investigated on this subject or not.

The idea seems to have raised questions about whether Amazon should be legally allowed to use somebody’s face to promote its brand and who would be blamed if the person alleged to be the criminal comes out innocent, the report added. (IANS)

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Amazon, Toshiba Announce First Budget-friendly TV with Dolby Vision

The company has continued to iterate on the Fire TV software to embrace Alexa voice controls as well

Google , US, Alexa, Amazon, Drones, e-commerce
The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

E-commerce giant Amazon has announced the first budget-friendly Toshiba-branded 4K TV with built-in Fire TV software and Dolby Vision.

Up until now, the Dolby Vision — which is an HDR format that offers a wider colour palette and brighter highlights — has been widely available in premium-priced smart TVs, it is still trickling down to entry-level sets.

The Toshiba set would be available in 55-inch, 43-inch and 50-inch variants for $449.99, $329.99 and $379.99 respectively, The Verge reported on Thursday. The TVs would be available exclusively on Amazon and Best Buy stores.

The news comes as Amazon prepares to open an installation at the Dolby experiential space in New York City’s Soho neighbourhood where it would showcase theatre-like viewing experience with Dolby’s audio and visual technologies on recent Fire TV hardware.

Smart televisions are becoming a popular trend.

Amazon’s Fire TV has over 34 million active monthly users and the company currently includes the Stick.

The Fire TV Stick 4K supports Dolby Vision, while the Cube offers Dolby Atmos audio but not the visual side, the report added.

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The company has continued to iterate on the Fire TV software to embrace Alexa voice controls as well.

The Fire TV Edition with Dolby Vision was a necessary step for Amazon to better square off with the line-up of Roku TVs on the market like TCL, which already offers Dolby Vision output, the report noted. (IANS)