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Amazon and Ring want to give you crime news through your doorbell

Home security company Ring, owned by Amazon, offers a range of products including a smart doorbell and outdoor security cameras. But now Ring products might go further, not just protecting you from crime but warning you about crime news too.

According to a job listing on the Amazon.jobs site, the tech giant is searching for a managing editor for news who will “work on an exciting new opportunity within Ring to manage a team of news editors who deliver breaking crime news alerts to our neighbors.”

The program is clearly still in the early phases, as one of the responsibilities for the new position is to “Identify compelling and actionable new alert formats and test markets for pilot programs.” And other parts of the role seem to include creating processes for the news stories to be shared and reporting on the use of the potential new features, with “Work with product team to optimize CMS and provide solutions for necessary improvements” and “Develop internal reports on news trends and relevant team statistics” listed as other job responsibilities.

Ring positions itself as a way to protect your home and your family against intruders, so it makes sense they would want to alert their customers to crime events in their neighborhoods. But it is somewhat questionable whether these crime reports will really improve home security. After all, if you saw an alert that there had been a spate of burglaries in your area recently, what would you do that you don’t already do? You would make sure to lock your doors and windows, but most people — especially the sort of people who buy expensive smart home security systems — probably do that anyway.

Recent issues with Ring systems have even raised questions about whether the products designed to keep you safe could actually be a vulnerability. As a smart device connected to your home network, a Ring doorbell can be a vector for a cyber attack. Security researchers announced last month that they were able to gain access to audio and video transmissions from the Ring doorbell. The security issue has since been fixed.

On the other hand, Ring doorbells have been credited with decreasing home break-ins and aiding the police in catching perpetrators.

Clearly, Amazon is aiming to make home security systems smarter, but we’ll have to wait and see how successful this program is.

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