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Amazon shuts down man’s “smart” home after automated doorbell allegedly committed an act of “racism”

    A man by the name of Brandon Jackson was   locked out   of his so-called “smart home” recently after Amazon shut it all down due to alle...

  A man by the name of Brandon Jackson was locked out of his so-called “smart home” recently after Amazon shut it all down due to allegedly “racist” statements he made that were picked up by the always-listening spy devices he owns.

The Amazon Ring doorbell device locked Jackson out of his own home after the Amazon device, and possibly several others, caught him saying something that the company found to be “offensive” and “politically incorrect.” Jackson wrote the following in a piece for Medium:

“On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, I finally regained access to my Amazon account after an unexpected and unwarranted lockout that lasted nearly a week, from Thursday, May 25. This wasn’t just a simple inconvenience, though. I have a smart home, and my primary means of interfacing with all the devices and automations is through Amazon Echo devices via Alexa. This incident left me with a house full of unresponsive devices, a silent Alexa, and a lot of questions.”


If you support Amazon, you support tyranny

At first, Jackson thought he had been hacked. How, after all, could every single “smart house” device in his home stop working all at the same time, locking him out of his own property? Jackson’s doorbell device, which is actually a Eufy, allegedly made racist remarks to the driver who delivered packages, presumably from Amazon, at Jackson’s door.

It turns out that the device made no such racist statements, but because the driver heard what he wanted to hear, he contacted Amazon to complain. And the e-commerce retail behemoth’s response was to simply lock Jackson out of his own property without so much as an email explaining why.

Jackson was told after calling Amazon that he should have received an email from an Amazon “executive” explaining that the racist comments made by his doorbell would not be tolerated, and that he had been logged out of all his “smart” devices, which he says are all connected via Amazon Echo and Alexa products.

Jackson says he has “multiple cameras recording everything that happens on my property” – can you say creepy? – and that he reviewed all the footage and recordings and found no such evidence that his doorbell device had made racist comments to the delivery driver.

“I reviewed the footage and confirmed that no such comments had been made, Jackson claims. “Instead, the Eufy doorbell had issued an automated response: ‘Excuse me, can I help you?’ The driver, who was walking away and wearing headphones, must have misinterpreted the message. Nevertheless, by the following day, my Amazon account was locked, and all my Echo devices were logged out.”

Jackson even sent the evidence to Amazon to review, but was unsuccessful. Several days passed with no response and no restoration of service, leaving Jackson locked out of his home and property.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse: the onset of [Memorial] Day weekend was approaching, and I was keen to resolve the issue before the long weekend,” Jackson complained. “However, despite numerous calls and emails, it wasn’t until Friday afternoon that I received confirmation that the investigation had started. I was told to expect a response within two business days, meaning not until Tuesday of the following week at the earliest.”

“In the end, my account was unlocked on Wednesday, with no follow-up email to inform me of the resolution. This incident stands as a stark reminder of the need for better customer service and a more nuanced approach to incident management.”

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