Amazon’s Facial Recognition Moratorium Has Major Loopholes

Amazon’s Facial Recognition moratorium has major loopholes

by Alex Noah — 4 years ago in Review 2 min. read

In a surprise site article, Amazon stated it will set the brakes on supplying its facial recognition technology to authorities for a single year, but neglects to say whether the move applies to national law enforcement agencies.

The moratorium includes two weeks after IBM stated at a letter that it had been departing the facial recognition marketplace entirely.

Arvind Krishna, IBM’s chief executive, mentioned a”pursuit of justice and racial fairness” in light of this current protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd with a white police officer in Minneapolis last month.

Amazon’s announcement — only 102 words in length — didn’t state why it had been placing the moratorium in place, but noted that Congress”seems ready” to operate on stronger regulations regulating the use of facial recognition — without providing any specifics.

It is possible in reaction to that the Justice at Policing Act, a statement which could, if passed on, limit how authorities can use facial recognition technologies.

“We expect that this one-piece moratorium may give Congress time to execute rules that are appropriate, and we stand prepared to assist if asked,” explained Amazon from the unbylined blog article.
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However, the announcement didn’t state whether the moratorium would apply to the national government, the origin of almost all of the criticism against Amazon’s facial recognition technologies.

Amazon also didn’t say in the announcement what actions it would take following the yearlong moratorium expires.

Amazon is proven to possess pitched its facial recognition technologies, Rekognition, to national agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This past year, Amazon’s cloud chief Andy Jassy stated within an interview that the business would offer Rekognition to”any” administration division.

Amazon spokesperson Kristin Brown declined to comment further or state whether the moratorium applies to national law enforcement.

You will find dozens of businesses supplying facial recognition technology to authorities, but Amazon is undoubtedly the biggest.

Amazon has become the most scrutiny after its Rekognition face-scanning technology revealed prejudice against people of colour.

In 2018, the ACLU discovered that Rekognition liberally matched 28 members of Congress as offenders in a mugshot database.

Amazon criticized the results, promising the ACLU had reduced the facial recognition system’s assurance threshold.

However a year later, the ACLU of Massachusetts discovered that Rekognition had liberally matched 27 New England professional athletes from a mugshot database. Both evaluations disproportionately mismatched Black men and women, the ACLU found.
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Investors attracted a proposition to Amazon’s yearly shareholder meeting almost a year ago that could have banned Amazon from promoting its own facial recognition technology into the authorities or law enforcement. Amazon conquered the vote with a broad margin.

The ACLU confessed Amazon’s movement to pause revenue of Rekognition, which it called a”threat to our civil rights and liberties,” but called the business and other companies to perform more.

Alex Noah

Alex is senior editor of The Next Tech. He studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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