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finger on doorbellSome are concerned that doorbell cameras and video-sharing partnerships with police departments encroach on people’s privacy and civil liberties.

Say no to Ring, urges professor

Will smart surveillance systems make Canada safer? Only if the safety priority is our Amazon packages, says education professor Bonnie Stewart.

She makes her case in an article published Jan. 21 in the Conversation, which shares news and views from the academic and research community.

“People may assume there’s no risk to them, so long as they have nothing to hide,” writes Dr. Stewart, a specialist in online pedagogy. “Regardless, surveillance of this kind still creates risks. The datafication of our personal information ultimately reduces citizens to a collection of data points.”

She says the Amazon Ring video doorbell and its associated social media reporting may lead to the happenstance creation of an integrated police-Ring surveillance network.

“The smart tech promise gets safety backwards,” Stewart writes. “Civil and civic rights matter, and we shouldn’t abandon Canada’s stringent police surveillance regulations for a shiny new version of property security.”

Read the entire piece, “One Ring to rule them all: Surveillance ‘smart’ tech won’t make Canadian cities safer,” in the Conversation.

Stewart will moderate a free public panel discussion on the topic “Safer Communities in a ‘Smart Tech’ World,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the Performance Hall, SoCA Armouries.

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