Microsoft engineer Brandon Jackson toldhow his Amazon account was suspended for a week due to a false accusation from an Amazon delivery driver, causing the Echo smart speaker and all connected smart home components in his house to stop working.
The incident happened on May 24, 2023, when Amazon delivered another order to him. The next day, Jackson found that his Echo smart speaker had been unsubscribed and the smart home devices connected to it were no longer working. He contacted Amazon support, where he was advised to check the email, which was supposed to receive an email from company management. When Jackson called the number provided in the letter, he learned that the Amazon driver who delivered the order accused him of some racist remarks over the Amazon Ring video intercom, although the owner later clarified that it was a Chinese Eufy .
The engineer found such allegations unbelievable: First, his house was equipped with surveillance cameras that could show what really happened; Secondly, in his view, it is unlikely that any of his family members would allow themselves such statements. In addition, Mr. Jackson himself is African American, as are all members of his family and neighbors in the same area; and at the time of the crime, as it turned out later, no one was at home at all.
After watching video of the incident, he saw an intelligent video intercom follow the departing driver and set off the standard: “Excuse me, can I help you?” – but he was wearing headphones and probably didn’t understand what the device was saying. And the next day, Jackson’s account was suspended. He challenged the decision of the platform’s administration, but it took a full week for the ban to be lifted – it only happened on May 31.
A week without Amazon services turned out to be quite uncomfortable for the consumer. Luckily, most smart home components worked locally through the Apple ecosystem. However, he drew a disturbing conclusion from the incident: if someone bought a toaster, for example, they were believed to own the appliance, and no Amazon, Apple or Google could deny them that purchase. Today you can no longer be sure of that.