Amazon extends ban on police use of its facial reputation device ‘till additional understand’

Amazon has prolonged its moratorium on legislation enforcement use of its facial reputation device “till additional understand,” according to Reuters. The ban was once set to run out in June.

As early as 2018, Amazon employees had driven Amazon to reduce the mission, arguing that documented racial bias in facial recognition may exacerbate police violence in opposition to minorities. Amazon defended the mission till June 2020, when higher power from well-liked protests resulted in the corporate announcing a yearlong moratorium on police purchasers for the carrier.

Rekognition is obtainable as an AWS carrier, and plenty of of Amazon’s cloud computing competition have equivalent generation. Microsoft announced that it might additionally now not be promoting its facial reputation services and products to police the day after Amazon’s pledge, and IBM mentioned that it would stop developing or researching facial reputation tech altogether the similar week. Google doesn’t commercially offer its facial recognition technology to someone.

Amazon didn’t in an instant reply to request for remark about why the ban was once being prolonged. In a commentary supplied when the ban on legislation enforcement use was once first issued, Amazon mentioned it was hoping Congress would use the yr supplied via the moratorium to put in force laws surrounding the moral use of facial reputation generation. A part of its commentary learn:

We’ve advocated that governments will have to installed position more potent laws to manipulate the moral use of facial reputation generation, and in contemporary days, Congress seems in a position to take in this problem. We are hoping this one-year moratorium would possibly give Congress sufficient time to put in force suitable laws, and we stand in a position to lend a hand if asked.

Up to now, no federal regulation has addressed police use of facial reputation, however a lot of state and native measures have handed paring again use of the generation. San Francisco was once the first US city to ban government use of facial recognition in Might 2019, with Oakland following soon after. The Oregon and Maine towns of Portland additionally handed regulation across the tech in past due 2020. The state of Massachusetts failed to pass a proposed ban in December 2020 however has recently passed a modified bill that provides some restrictions on police use of facial reputation.

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