Some groups have amid concerns on Amazon’s facial recognition technology as Rekognition tool supplying to the US Law enforcement departments.
Several groups with The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) demanded that Amazon stop allowing governments to use its Rekognition tool.
The company says all faces in group photos, crowded events, and public places. Existing customers include the city of Orlando and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. Built a database of 300,000 mugshot photos to use with Rekognition tool.
Our tool helped in identifying the lost children and other people in past. A great potential for fighting crime in future. Through a freedom of information request, the ACLU was able to obtain emails sent back and forth between Amazon staff and law enforcement agencies in the states of Oregon and Florida.
The emails also discussed the integration of this technology with body cameras used by police. He explained that the argument given for adopting body cameras was to make police offers more accountable for their actions.
“This would turn those devices into surveillance machines aimed at the public,” he added.
Rekognition tool with cloud platform
The system makes use of Amazon’s cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS). The technology was not a secret. Amazon had published details of its work with police on its AWS blog.
But in response to a joint letter sent by the ACLU and 33 other groups. Moreover, Amazon defended its partnerships with law enforcement agencies. It said fears over misuse of the technology should not inhibit use of facial recognition to fight crime.
“Our quality of life would be much worse today if we outlawed new technology because some people could choose to abuse the technology,” Amazon said in a statement.
However, the ACLU’s Mr Cagle said he believed Amazon was entering the surveillance industry without proper consideration about how this technology could be used in future.
“When powerful surveillance technologies are deployed it is difficult and often impossible to undo the harms once those technologies are deployed in communities.
“And so we’re very concerned that Amazon appears to be rushing into this surveillance market with and with no meaningful restrictions to limit how governments can use this and local governments themselves and local law enforcement are not adopting their own restrictions.”