Protesters are calling into question a wide range of policing that could lead to racial abuse. But what if Rekognition gets it wrong? The move follows IBM putting a permanent end to its development of facial recognition technology. Amazon is to pause the police use of its AWS facial recognition software Rekognition following two weeks of intense protests against police brutality and the murder of … “This surveillance technology’s threat to our civil rights and civil liberties will not disappear in a year,” Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said in a statement. Amazon banned police use of its face-recognition technology for a year, making it the latest tech giant to step back from law-enforcement use of systems. Facial recognition software, like many forms of artificial intelligence, has a long history of racial bias. Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse. Amazon has not said how many police forces use the technology, or how it is used, but marketing materials have promoted Rekognition being used in conjunction with police body cameras in real time. The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning. Amazon is implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of its artificial intelligence software Rekognition amid a growing backlash over the tech company’s ties to law enforcement. In a statement on its blog Wednesday, Amazon said it will pull the use of its technology from police forces until there is stronger regulation around it. “It fuels police abuse. Jon Fingas , @jonfingas “We cannot rely on self-regulation or hope companies will choose to rein in harmful deployments of the technologies they develop.”, Amazon facial-identification software used by police falls short on tests for accuracy and bias, new research finds, One of the politicians taking up the call to regulate the technology, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), said facial-recognition systems should not be used without rules to protect Americans against “inaccurate, discriminatory algorithms and misuse.”. Face Metadata Storage: To enable face search, you will need to store a repository of face metadata against which Amazon Rekognition can search for matches. Amazon announced Wednesday it’s implementing a year-long moratorium on law enforcement use of “Rekognition,” its facial recognition technology. “It’s highlighted a risk of how this technology could be used in its worst way,” Laperruque said. This surveillance technology must be stopped.”, Amazon says 'Black Lives Matter'. Amazon said that running sketches through Rekognition does not violate its rules but that it expects human reviewers to “pay close attention to the confidence of any matches produced this way.” Amazon employees in recent years have pressed the company over similar issues. An attempted shareholder revolt over Amazon's sale of facial recognition technology to the police mustered less than 3% of votes cast at the firm's annual general meeting. “We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.”. “Face recognition technology gives governments the unprecedented power to spy on us wherever we go,” said Ozer. In April, its top legal executive suggested the company’s senior leaders fend of workplace safety criticism by trying to turn the focus on a black activist warehouse worker it had recently fired, calling the worker in a leaked memo “not smart, or articulate.” After the comments became public, the lawyer, David Zapolsky said in a statement that his comments were “personal and emotional.”, As protests over the killing of Floyd grew, Bezos took to Instagram in the past week, posting two letters from Amazon customers complaining over the company’s decision to run “Black Lives Matter” at the top of its e-commerce site. In an interview with PBS's "Frontline," AWS CEO Andy Jassy said Amazon didn't even know how many police … But it has also taken on a new and controversial life in law enforcement and other areas, which has raised privacy and bias concerns. The company has announced a moratorium on police use of its artificial intelligence software. Oregon’s Washington County Sheriff’s Office, for example, said last year that it spent about $700 to upload its first big haul of photos and paid about $7 a month after that. The Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon is using Amazon Rekognition to help track down criminal suspects. Oregon became a testing ground for Amazon’s facial recognition technology. Suspension of this particular program does not mean all partnerships with law enforcement will be halted. Amazon Pauses Police Use of Its Facial Recognition Software. The one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon Rekognition does not include organizations that work closely with law enforcement to identify … Amazon is not pulling the product from the market altogether. “It regularly falsely [identifies] Black and Brown people as criminal”. Using the new Amazon Rekognition face filtering feature, you can now have control over the quality and quantity of faces you can index for face recognition. It overwhelmingly misidentified Congress members who are not white. The decision to pause use of the technology by police surprised critics such as Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at the Constitution Project at the Project On Government Oversight, an accountability group, because Amazon has attacked reports that found flaws with Rekognition. Amazon Rekognition is a cloud-based Software as a service (SaaS) computer vision platform that was launched in 2016. It is unclear how many law enforcement agencies used Amazon Rekognition prior to the ban, although the move marks a stark about-turn in policy since 2018, when AWS CEO Andy Jassy told … Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment on if it planned changes in the uses of its facial-recognition technology now that Amazon paused police use of its system. “Microsoft also needs to take a stand. It will continue to allow organizations that help rescue human trafficking victims and reunite missing children with their families to continue to use its Rekognition technology, it said. “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. By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, Reporter focused on technology coverage in the Pacific Northwest, IBM said it will get out of the facial-recognition business. Amazon made the announcement in a brief statement on its corporate blog, though it never mentioned the protests or the recent death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer dug his knee into his neck. “Amazon Rekognition is primed for abuse in the hands of governments,” the group said in the letter, which was addressed to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive. Amazon spent $16.8m on lobbying in 2019. And he said those were “the kind of customers I’m happy to lose.”. The company has recently stated its support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which advocates for police reform – using Twitter to call for an end to “the inequitable and brutal treatment of black people” in the US and has putting a “Black lives matter” banner at the top of its home page. “That goes double for people of color, who are more likely to be wrongly identified and subject to FR for no reason,” Wyden said in an emailed statement. Currently, the only known law enforcement client using Rekognition is the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. its camera-connected smart doorbell company. “Like nuclear or biological weapons, it poses such a profound threat to the future of humanity that it should be banned outright.”. Facial-recognition technology has emerged as a key battleground for tech giants vying for business from customers eager to use the latest tools of artificial intelligence. Storage charges are applied monthly, and are pro-rated for partial months. Rekognition is a tool offered by Amazon Web Services, the company’s profitable cloud computing arm, and it’s relatively cheap and easy to use. Company has stated its support for Black Lives Matter movement, but faced growing backlash over ties to policing, Last modified on Fri 12 Jun 2020 12.13 BST. Note that a prediction of an emotional expression is based on the physical appearance of a person's face only. The doorbell app now partners with more than 1,300 police forces across the US – a 300% increase from just 400 police forces in August 2019. Privacy advocates have criticized Amazon for selling Rekognition to law enforcement, concerned it could lead to the wrongful arrest of innocent people who bear only a resemblance to a video image. 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