Amazon Is Suspending Police Use Of Its Facial Recognition Tech For One Yr

Amazon stated in a weblog publish on Wednesday that it could be implementing a one-year suspension on regulation enforcement use of Rekognition, the corporate’s facial recognition know-how.

The transfer comes throughout a nationwide second of protests towards police brutality, which have swept the nation after police killed two unarmed Black individuals, George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.

Amazon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Though activists have for years demanded that tech corporations cease promoting facial recognition to police, solely this week have corporations began to behave: Two days in the past, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna introduced that his firm would now not promote or present facial recognition to regulation enforcement and would halt analysis on the know-how.

Amazon’s Rekognition gained notoriety in 2018 after it falsely matched 28 members of Congress with mugshots, disproportionately matching politicians of coloration with prison suspects.

Rekognition is just not the one facial recognition know-how that Amazon owns. The corporate additionally owns Ring, which has been creating its personal proprietary facial recognition know-how since 2016 and as soon as had a “head of facial recognition analysis.” Greater than 1,300 police departments have signed contracts with the house surveillance firm to allow them to request footage from digital camera house owners with out warrants.

Amazon stated within the weblog publish that the Worldwide Centre for Lacking & Exploited Youngsters, in addition to know-how corporations Thorn and Marinus Analytics, would nonetheless have entry to Rekognition for human trafficking circumstances.

It’s unclear how Amazon will implement the moratorium for police departments that have already got entry to Rekognition.

The announcement drew skepticism from some activist teams, together with Mijente, which tweeted, “Let’s maintain off celebrating simply but.”

Amazon stated that it hoped the one-year moratorium would “give Congress sufficient time to move applicable regulation of facial recognition use by police.”

“We hope this one-year moratorium would possibly give Congress sufficient time to implement applicable guidelines, and we stand prepared to assist if requested,” Amazon stated within the weblog publish.

It made no indication of what would occur after the suspension expired.

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