Amazon wins patent to surveil your house by drone

Josh Hall's picture

Amazon is going all in on drones - and its latest plan is to launch surveillance vehicles to hover over customers' homes.

In a patent made public this month, the company outlined its ambitions to operate a fleet of drones that monitor properties between deliveries.

The vehicles would keep an eye on homes, looking out for anything from doors ajar to a fire disaster, and alert the occupant if they spot something awry.

The patent, which has been granted in the States, follows Amazon's attempts to launch a huge fleet of delivery drones that could deliver packages to customers without human help.

Those plans were set back by the denial of a key patent, but the company still says its plans to launch delivery drones in America this year.

Amazon maintains that its drone surveillance plans could be achieved while maintaining the privacy of property owners and their neighbours, but the news has raised fresh concerns about the power wielded by the biggest tech firms.

Recent months have seen a wave of criticism regarding the perceived overreach of these companies and their application of new technologies.

Facial recognition has come in for particular ire, including a group of activist shareholders in Amazon attempting to force a vote demanding that the company stop using the technology until it can be proved not to pose a risk to civil liberties.

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