Ring Is Just Another App That's Spying On You

People have been warning each other about the dangers of public surveillance since 1984 came out, but it turns out there was no need for a tyrannical government to brute force their way into our lives. All they had to do was make spying slightly more convenient. Amazon's Ring doorbell app is ostensibly a simple service: It allows you to communicate with anyone and anything on your property, so you never have to miss another strip-o-gram. But the app gathers a lot more information than you probably realize (take a deep, pre-gasp breath now)... and digital privacy watchdog group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, recently found that Amazon are not being very respectful of it.

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Oh, you should've gasped just then. You can breathe now.

If you're a sovereign citizen with a penchant for tinfoil fashion, you're probably not keen to let Amazon film any part of your bunker anyway. But even the average person -- who's accepted an uneasy level of digital surveillance in their lives already -- might find it alarming that a stupid doorbell app is, for some reason, keeping tabs on all the other apps on your phone, including when you use them. The reason, of course, is so they can share that info with third-party analytics services, who get a pretty good idea about a person's life from when they're scrolling through Twitter, or playing Candy Crush on the toilet. Amazon will face the heavy consequences of... probably nothing, because they're not really doing anything you didn't allow in the terms of use that you didn't read.

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And honestly, what did any of us expect? We're letting Amazon film our homes. Amazon: the company that produces a friendly little woman in a box who tells you the weather, cues up your playlist, and lets her friends eavesdrop on you. The traditional notion of privacy has essentially become obsolete -- we traded it for uncomfortable jokes about the FBI agent monitoring our search results, because this way we never have to get up. Which is the most beautifully human thing imaginable; like the scorpion and the frog... if the scorpion had sweatpants instead of a stinger. You are a gorgeous, lazy scorpion. We know. We can see you.

Manna has surrendered to our digital overlords, which is why she is on Twitter.