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Amazon confirms it shut down man’s smart home after delivery driver wrongly accused him of making racist remark
Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon confirms it shut down man’s smart home after delivery driver wrongly accused him of making racist remark

On Wednesday, Amazon confirmed that it shut down a man’s smart home after a delivery truck driver misheard and wrongly accused him of making a racist remark through his smart doorbell, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

Brandon Jackson, a Baltimore, Maryland resident, claimed that Amazon locked him out of his smart devices on May 25. He explained that many of the devices in his home, including his lights, are connected to his Amazon Echo, which he was unable to access for a week.

In an article posted on Medium, Jackson explained that the misunderstanding “left me with a house full of unresponsive devices, a silent Alexa, and a lot of questions.”

When Jackson reached out to Amazon to find out why he was locked out, he was told, in a “somewhat accusatory” tone, that a delivery driver had reported hearing a racist remark while dropping off a package at his home.

He explained that the accusations did not make sense and “seemed highly unlikely” since “most delivery drivers in my area share the same race as me and my family.”

Jackson noted that no one was home when the alleged comment was made. He reviewed security footage and found that his Eufy doorbell had given the driver the automated response, “Excuse me, can I help you?”

Additionally, he noticed that the driver was walking away and wearing headphones at the time and may have misheard the doorbell’s automatic reply.

Jackson sent the video evidence to Amazon, which took several days to review it. During that time, he remained locked out of his smart devices while the company conducted an internal investigation.

Six days later, he regained access to his account, Jackson stated.

“If someone bought and paid for a device they should be able to use it at least on their own property/ if it doesn’t hurt anyone else. I’m only pushing this story so that this WONT [sic] happen to any one [sic] else. Regardless of their race, religion, beliefs, if you paid for it you should OWN it,” Jackson said.

Simone Griffin, an Amazon spokesperson, told the DCNF, “We work hard to provide customers with a great experience while also ensuring drivers who deliver Amazon packages feel safe. In this case, we learned through our investigation that the customer did not act inappropriately, and we’re working directly with the customer to resolve their concerns while also looking at ways to prevent a similar situation from happening again.”

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