Amazon Shuts Down Police Use Of Facial Recognition For One Year

First IBM, now Amazon. There has been known racial bias within AI programs that back Facial Recognition, and it appears that these giants are putting up their deflector shields early before they get caught up in the nationwide black protests. ⁃ TN Editor
 

Amazon said on Wednesday that it’s putting in place a one-year moratorium on police use of Rekognition.

“We’ve advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge,” Amazon said in a statement.

On Monday, IBM said it was getting out of the facial recognition business.

Amazon said on Wednesday that it’s banning use of its facial recognition software by police for one year, as pressure on tech companies builds to respond to the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.

“We’ve advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge,” Amazon said in a statement. “We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.”

While the House Committee on Oversight and Reform has held a number of hearings on the use of facial recognition technology, it has yet to introduce a bill regulating the technology. Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Ca., who serves on the committee told CNBC in a phone interview he is hopeful Congress will pass a bill this year. 

“It’s a good first step, but it’s still not enough,” said Rep. Gomez of Amazon’s announcement. 

“They’re saying, ‘we’ve been asking Congress to put guardrails on the use of this technology,’ – but every time we tried to get more and more data they stalled – and we had to have hearings to make movement on the issue.”

Gomez says the committee has been seeking more information about the technology, and to whom Amazon sells it. 

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