Amazon have announced that they are prohibiting police use of Amazon’s facial recognition technology, Rekognition for one year. The decision is part of their advocacy for the implementation of stronger legislation by governments and will hopefully give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules before the technology is made available to the police again.
Facial recognition technology such as Amazon’s Rekognition use AI that can quickly compare pictures and help officers search their database of photographs for potential intel however, this has been widely criticized for racially profiling based on bias algorithms.
Key organizations that work on the cases of missing and explored children and human trafficking will still have access to the facial recognition technology.
“We’re implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon’s facial recognition technology. We will continue to allow organizations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics to use Amazon Rekognition to help rescue human trafficking victims and reunite missing children with their families.
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. We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.”
It’s interesting to see how Amazon are responding to recent events and how limiting the use of their technology might promote education and the lawful use of such important tools. In a way Amazon are saying ‘If you can’t use it responsibly, you can’t use it at all’