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The Ring Video Doorbell and the Entry of Amazon into the Smart Home: Implications for Consumer-Initiated Surveillance

K. A. Kelly ()
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K. A. Kelly: University of Connecticut

Journal of Consumer Policy, 2023, vol. 46, issue 1, No 5, 95-104

Abstract: Abstract In this paper, the implications of the rapidly growing smart home market for “consumer-initiated surveillance” are explored. The author employs the term “consumer-initiated surveillance” to denote the acquisition of new surveillance technologies, applications, and systems by individuals for use in private settings. Through an analysis of mass marketing campaigns for the Ring Video Doorbell from 2013 to 2021, the author raises critical questions about whether this technology can deliver on the promise that private citizens will be empowered when they purchase and install it in their homes. While there are signs that consumers do have the ability to use this technology in ways that increase agency, serious questions remain about the negative implications of incorporating increasing numbers of smart home devices under current conditions of surveillance capitalism. The implications of this analysis reinforce the importance of preserving and enhancing consumer agency through anti-trust actions and the development of regulations designed to disrupt exploitative practices.

Keywords: Consumer protection; Consumer agency; Data extraction; Privacy; Amazon; Ring Video Doorbell (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1007/s10603-022-09534-3

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