Amazon asked to stop selling facial recognition technology to the US government
In a public letter addressed to Amazon, more than 30 USA-based civil society organisations ask the company to stop providing facial recognition technology to the US government. The letter focuses on the Amazon-developed Rekognition system, described by Amazon as a tool that can identify people in real-time by instantaneously searching databases containing tens of millions of faces. The civil society organisations behind the letter claim that the company is helping authorities deploy Rekognition in three states and that it has provided support and offered free consulting services to government customers. In their view, the technology ‘is primed for abuse in the hands of governments’, and ‘poses a grave threat to communities, including people of colour and immigrants’. Amazon is asked to ‘stop powering a government surveillance infrastructure that poses a grave threat to customers and communities across the country’, and to ‘stand up for civil rights and civil liberties’.