Microsoft calls for regulation of facial recognition, saying it’s too risky to leave to tech industry alone. But it has also taken on a new and controversial life in law enforcement and other areas, which has raised privacy and bias concerns. Rekognition is currently used by police … Amazon, where I work, is currently allowing police departments around the country to purchase its facial recognition product, Rekognition, and I … And studies have shown that facial-recognition systems misidentify people of color more often than white people. It has been sold and used by a number of United States government agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Orlando, Florida police… “Facial recognition is a horrifying, inaccurate tool that fuels racial profiling and mass surveillance,” she said. Storage charges are applied monthly, and are pro-rated for partial months. Amazon marketing materials promoted the idea of using Rekognition in conjunction with police body cameras in real time – exactly the outcome Cyril feared. “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. With Amazon Rekognition, you can identify objects, people, text, scenes, and activities in images and videos, as well as detect any inappropriate content. 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. “It regularly falsely [identifies] Black and Brown people as criminal”. The technology can help identify people and is critical for such services as unlocking smartphones and tagging friends in photos on social media. 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 only reason Amazon reversed course on Rekognition, he says, is the public outcry over police tactics in the wake of Floyd’s death. Amazon also has not made changes to Ring, its camera-connected smart doorbell company, which has also been criticized for increasing the policing of non-white Americans. “The reality is that facial recognition technology is too dangerous to be used at all,” Greer said. Rekognition runs on Amazon servers and is delivered to customers as an internet service, making it, in theory, relatively simple for Amazon to suspend access for police users. “It fuels police abuse. Facial recognition software, like many forms of artificial intelligence, has a long history of racial bias. 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. Amazon is putting a year-long “moratorium” on police use of its Rekognition facial recognition technology. 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. “We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.”, America is awash in cameras, a double-edged sword for protesters and police, (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.). 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. Amazon places 'moratorium' on police use of its facial recognition tech It's responding to protests and Congress with a hold on Rekognition. The e-commerce and tech giant has decided to ban the use of Amazon Rekognition by police forces for a year until stricter regulation surrounding facial recognition software can be … More importantly our lawmakers need to step up,” the researcher, Joy Buolamwini, said via email. “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. This surveillance technology must be stopped.”, Amazon says 'Black Lives Matter'. Note that a prediction of an emotional expression is based on the physical appearance of a person's face only. 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 … One tech giant that hasn’t announced any changes with the way it sells facial-recognition technology is Microsoft. 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. In an interview with PBS's "Frontline," AWS CEO Andy Jassy said Amazon didn't even know how many police … “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.”. 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. Amazon Rekognition is a deep-learning-based image and video analysis service that can identify objects, people, text, scenes, and activities, as well as detect any inappropriate content. The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning. Its Rekognition technology blankets the country. Rekognition was being used by the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. 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. Jon Fingas , @jonfingas 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. She said Amazon could spend the year moratorium improving the technology and lobbying Congress to make industry-friendly regulation so the technology can be implemented in the future. The company has announced a moratorium on police use of its artificial intelligence software. 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. 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 announced Wednesday it’s implementing a year-long moratorium on law enforcement use of “Rekognition,” its facial recognition technology. Advocacy groups also said the technology could have a disproportionately negative effect on non-white people. Bezos wrote that he has received “a number of sickening but not surprising responses” to his posts. “Face recognition technology gives governments the unprecedented power to spy on us wherever we go,” said Ozer. A report from Motherboard in 2019 revealed black and brown people are more likely to be surveilled by the Neighbors app, where Ring users can post videos and photos of “suspicious” people caught on camera. Amazon Pauses Police Use of Its Facial Recognition Software. But the company has deep ties to policing. “It’s highlighted a risk of how this technology could be used in its worst way,” Laperruque said. “Like nuclear or biological weapons, it poses such a profound threat to the future of humanity that it should be banned outright.”. 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 decision comes amid a nationwide focus on police powers and actions following the May 25 killing of George Floyd , a 46-year-old Black man, by a white officer in Minneapolis. “This surveillance technology’s threat to our civil rights and civil liberties will not disappear in a year,” Ozer said. “In the past, they’ve been pretty hostile to the very good research that’s been done,” Laperruque said. The field of artificial intelligence, which is overwhelmingly white and male, is frequently criticized for its lack of diversity. The ACLU also called on Amazon to stop selling its Ring doorbell cameras. The one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon Rekognition does not include organizations that work closely with law enforcement to identify … Some of the sharpest criticism of Rekognition came from the American Civil Liberties Union, which on Wednesday said the moratorium didn’t go far enough. Amazon Rekognition makes it easy to add image and video analysis to your applications using proven, highly scalable, deep learning technology that requires no machine learning expertise to use. ACLU Amazon's facial recognition software won't be used by police for the next year, the company said Wednesday. The move follows IBM putting a permanent end to its development of facial recognition technology. Oregon became a testing ground for Amazon’s facial recognition technology. The only reason Amazon reversed course on Rekognition, he says, is the public outcry over police tactics in the wake of Floyd’s death. Amazon Rekognition identity-based policy examples By default, IAM users and roles don't have permission to create or modify Amazon Rekognition resources. Documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California have shed new light on Rekognition, Amazon’s little-known facial recognition project. But Amazon implied recent events drove its decision. “Amazon must fully commit to a blanket moratorium on law enforcement use of face recognition until the dangers can be fully addressed, and it must press Congress and legislatures across the country to do the same. 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. Amazon noted in its announcement that the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as technology companies Thorn and Marinus Analytics, will still have access to Rekognition for human trafficking cases. The ACLU has called on Amazon to “stop selling surveillance systems like Ring that fuel the over-policing of communities of color”. And he said those were “the kind of customers I’m happy to lose.”. We’re implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon’s facial recognition technology. The Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon is using Amazon Rekognition to help track down criminal suspects. “Amazon must fully commit to a blanket moratorium on law enforcement use of face recognition until the dangers can be fully addressed, and it must press Congress and legislatures across the country to do the same.”. Amazon’s Rekognition has faced criticism and opposition for years Launched in 2016, Amazon’s Rekognition software is part of the company’s cloud computing division, Amazon … An experiment run by the ACLU in 2018 showed Rekognition incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress to photos of people arrested for a crime. 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. “Microsoft also needs to take a stand. 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 … “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,” the company wrote. They should also commit to stop selling surveillance systems like Ring that fuel the over-policing of communities of color. One of the authors of a study by the MIT Media Lab that found the Rekognition system performed more accurately when assessing lighter-skinned faces called on Microsoft to act. They also can't perform tasks using the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or AWS API. IBM’s decision to abandon facial recognition technology fueled by years of debate. It can take grainy photos from a security camera or elsewhere and run them against thousands of photos, like a police department’s database of mug shots, to find a potential match. Protesters are calling into question a wide range of policing that could lead to racial abuse. 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. “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 is not pulling the product from the market altogether. ... Amazon Bans Police Use of Rekognition. Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez echoed this complaint in a tweet on Wednesday, saying the technology “shouldn’t be anywhere near law enforcement”. Amazon spent $16.8m on lobbying in 2019. 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 threatens to … 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. Currently, the only known law enforcement client using Rekognition is the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. “We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.”. Suspension of this particular program does not mean all partnerships with law enforcement will be halted. 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. While some privacy advocates say the move represents a step in the right direction, Evan Greer, of digital rights group Fight for the Future, said this is “nothing more than a public relations stunt from Amazon”. Amazon, though, hasn’t named the law-enforcement organizations that use Rekognition, or even disclosed how many use the technology. The unit has partnered with hundreds of police forces across the country to provide potential access to homeowners’ camera footage, which Ozer says “fuels police abuse.”. Nicole Ozer, the technology and civil liberties director with the American Civil Liberties Union of northern California, also called on Amazon to make more meaningful commitments. But for Amazon, hitting pause on providing facial recognition technology to police is arguably a much bigger deal. It also called on other companies that power facial recognition, including Microsoft, to halt the technology. When it was first released, Amazon’s Rekognition software was criticized by human rights groups as “a powerful surveillance system” that is available to “violate rights and target communities of color”. Police in the US city of Orlando have ended tests of a controversial Amazon facial recognition technology that had led to protests from Amazon staff and dissent from shareholders. Amazon Rekognition can analyze images, and send the emotion and demographic attributes to Amazon Redshift for periodic reporting on trends such as in store locations and similar scenarios. Amazon is announcing a one-year moratorium on selling law enforcement access to its controversial Rekognition facial recognition platform, the e-commerce giant said on Wednesday. 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 Rekognition is a cloud-based Software as a service (SaaS) computer vision platform that was launched in 2016. The Washington county sheriff’s office in Oregon, the first law enforcement agency in the country to contract with Amazon to use the technology, confirmed on Wednesday it would suspend its use of the product in light of the announcement. Two years ago, Microsoft called on the U.S. government to regulate facial-recognition technology, noting that companies aren’t likely to regulate themselves. “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. On Monday, IBM said it will get out of the facial-recognition business altogether over concerns about how the technology can be used for mass surveillance and racial profiling. SEATTLE — Amazon has banned police from using its controversial facial-recognition technology for a year amid ongoing nationwide protests over police brutality and racial profiling. Amazon Rekognition can analyze videos stored in Amazon S3 or live streaming video from Kinesis Video Streams. But what if Rekognition gets it wrong? 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. Two years ago, workers called on Bezos to end the sale of facial-recognition technology to law enforcement agencies and to discontinue partnerships with companies that work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But the company has been criticized as hypocritical because it sells its facial recognition software to police forces. Amazon employees demand company cut ties with ICE, Amazon has faced criticism in recent weeks regarding race at the company. 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. its camera-connected smart doorbell company. 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. 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. It overwhelmingly misidentified Congress members who are not white.

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