ACLU Amazon's facial recognition software won't be used by police for the next year, the company said Wednesday. Jon Fingas , @jonfingas The one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon Rekognition does not include organizations that work closely with law enforcement to identify … 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. ... Amazon Bans Police Use of Rekognition. “Microsoft also needs to take a stand. 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. The move follows IBM putting a permanent end to its development of facial recognition technology. “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. Amazon announced Wednesday it’s implementing a year-long moratorium on law enforcement use of “Rekognition,” its facial recognition technology. 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 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 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.”. Advocacy groups also said the technology could have a disproportionately negative effect on non-white people. 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. “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. 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. 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.”. Amazon, though, hasn’t named the law-enforcement organizations that use Rekognition, or even disclosed how many use the technology. 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. An experiment run by the ACLU in 2018 showed Rekognition incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress to photos of people arrested for a crime. 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. 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. 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.” Two years ago, Microsoft called on the U.S. government to regulate facial-recognition technology, noting that companies aren’t likely to regulate themselves. “In the past, they’ve been pretty hostile to the very good research that’s been done,” Laperruque said. But Amazon implied recent events drove its decision. 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. “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 Rekognition can analyze videos stored in Amazon S3 or live streaming video from Kinesis Video Streams. 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”. The Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon is using Amazon Rekognition to help track down criminal suspects. The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning. “It fuels police abuse. Documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California have shed new light on Rekognition, Amazon’s little-known facial recognition project. 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. “It’s highlighted a risk of how this technology could be used in its worst way,” Laperruque said. “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. “The reality is that facial recognition technology is too dangerous to be used at all,” Greer said. Amazon is putting a year-long “moratorium” on police use of its Rekognition facial recognition technology. 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. “Facial recognition is a horrifying, inaccurate tool that fuels racial profiling and mass surveillance,” she said. The ACLU also called on Amazon to stop selling its Ring doorbell cameras. They should also commit to stop selling surveillance systems like Ring that fuel the over-policing of communities of color. 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. 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 is not pulling the product from the market altogether. With Amazon Rekognition, you can identify objects, people, text, scenes, and activities in images and videos, as well as detect any inappropriate content. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez echoed this complaint in a tweet on Wednesday, saying the technology “shouldn’t be anywhere near law enforcement”. 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 … And studies have shown that facial-recognition systems misidentify people of color more often than white people. “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. Microsoft calls for regulation of facial recognition, saying it’s too risky to leave to tech industry alone. 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 Rekognition identity-based policy examples By default, IAM users and roles don't have permission to create or modify Amazon Rekognition resources. “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. Amazon places 'moratorium' on police use of its facial recognition tech It's responding to protests and Congress with a hold on Rekognition. The only reason Amazon reversed course on Rekognition, he says, is the public outcry over police tactics in the wake of Floyd’s death. They also can't perform tasks using the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or AWS API. 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 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 … It also called on other companies that power facial recognition, including Microsoft, to halt the technology. Amazon marketing materials promoted the idea of using Rekognition in conjunction with police body cameras in real time – exactly the outcome Cyril feared. IBM’s decision to abandon facial recognition technology fueled by years of debate. 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. 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. Its Rekognition technology blankets the country. But for Amazon, hitting pause on providing facial recognition technology to police is arguably a much bigger deal. “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. 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 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. Protesters are calling into question a wide range of policing that could lead to racial abuse. Amazon Rekognition is a cloud-based Software as a service (SaaS) computer vision platform that was launched in 2016. “Face recognition technology gives governments the unprecedented power to spy on us wherever we go,” said Ozer. Amazon, where I work, is currently allowing police departments around the country to purchase its facial recognition product, Rekognition, and I … Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse. 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”. Suspension of this particular program does not mean all partnerships with law enforcement will be halted. 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. Amazon Pauses Police Use of Its Facial Recognition Software. 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. Facial recognition software, like many forms of artificial intelligence, has a long history of racial bias. 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. Rekognition is currently used by police … Currently, the only known law enforcement client using Rekognition is the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. Amazon employees in recent years have pressed the company over similar issues. Bezos wrote that he has received “a number of sickening but not surprising responses” to his posts. 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. The only reason Amazon reversed course on Rekognition, he says, is the public outcry over police tactics in the wake of Floyd’s death. More importantly our lawmakers need to step up,” the researcher, Joy Buolamwini, said via email. One tech giant that hasn’t announced any changes with the way it sells facial-recognition technology is Microsoft. 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. Storage charges are applied monthly, and are pro-rated for partial months. 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. The company has announced a moratorium on police use of its artificial intelligence software. 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.

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