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The curious philosophy of Amazon’s video doorbell shows the tech giants have already won the debate

The popularity of Amazon's Ring doorbell doesn't just expose our collective sense of vulnerability. It shows that "surveillance capitalism" has already been normalised

By David Beer  

A Ring doorbell next to someones front door. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The humble doorbell may seem like an unlikely candidate for the surveillance capitalism treatment. Yet here we are.

A recent episode of the BBC documentary series Panorama asked what Amazon knows about us. The answer, predictably, was that they know a lot. For them and for other tech giants, the gathering of data is always the objective. The more they know about their customers, the easier it is for them to anticipate and shape our choices.

If you take that business model into account, Amazon’s new Ring video doorbell system makes a good deal of sense. Of course, this is not simply a…

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