Amazon temporary ban the police to use its facial-recognition technology

Amazon interdit temporairement à la police d’utiliser sa technologie de reconnaissance faciale

Amazon has decided to ban the police to use its facial recognition software Rekognition for a year, in a context of pressure of the associations for the defence of freedoms and demonstrations against police violence and racism in the United States.

“We are advocating regulations that are more stringent government on the ethical use of the technologies of facial recognition, and the Congress seems ready for the challenge “, said on Wednesday the giant of online commerce in a press release.

Since the death of George Floyd, an African-American, was asphyxiated by a white policeman two weeks ago, the enterprises, as well as national and local authorities and attempt to react to the pressure of the street and social networks.

The demonstrators require in-depth reforms of the police and of surveillance systems, which they believe that they are targeting black people disproportionately.

The House of representatives, democratic majority, has submitted on Monday a bill that aims to “change the culture” within the police forces of the United States.

It intends to create a national registry for police officers committing burrs, facilitate the prosecution of the agents and rethink their recruitment and training.

“We hope that this one-year moratorium will give Congress sufficient time to put in place the appropriate rules “, said Amazon in its announcement Wednesday.


Organizations, such as the powerful American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), calling for two years for Amazon to discontinue providing its facial recognition technology and the forces of order.

The pressure is up a notch Tuesday, when associations fighting against racial inequalities have urged Amazon to stop all technological collaboration with the american police force.

In their petition online, they accuse the group of Seattle to ” feed and take advantage of the systematic injustice, inequality and violence against black communities “.

“Amazon has long sought to be the technological backbone of the police and ICE (police, immigration, editor’s NOTE) in actively promoting Amazon Web Services (cloud computing), its software for facial recognition (Rekognition) and surveillance cameras (Ring) “, has developed Athena, a collective of associations that appeal to the group about the negative impacts of its various activities.

The camera Ring are used to ensure the safety of individuals, but their owners can donate if they wish access to the surveillance video to the police.


“It took two years for Amazon to get there, but we are pleased that the company has finally recognized the dangers of facial recognition for people of color, as well as in terms of civil rights in general,” responded Wednesday, Nicole Ozer, director of technology, and freedoms to a branch in california of the ACLU.

She wanted the multinational company also ceases to sell the cameras Ring “, which feed the police interventions that are excessive against people of color “.

Amazon had acknowledged in October that, “as with all technologies, the facial recognition could be” mis-used “. She had ensured that their teams provided guidance to all clients in the (software) Rekognition, ” including the forces of law and order, the proper way of using it.”

The group of Jeff Bezos has stated that the moratorium would not apply to organizations that use Rekognition to save victims of human trafficking or find missing children, as a Thorn, or the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

IBM announced yesterday that it would suspend the sale of software of face recognition for identification purposes and is ” opposed to the use of any technology for the monitoring of mass, racial profiling, and violations of rights and freedoms human base “.

During a speech in Brussels, Sundar Pichai, the boss of Google, had explained in January that Google would not provide turn-key service of facial recognition so that rules and safeguards were not put in place by the authorities.

Nicole Ozer called ” Microsoft and the others to join IBM, Google and Amazon to move to the right side of history “.

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