Amazon wouldn’t deny that it’s supplying ICE with its facial recognition technology. BuzzFeed reports that Amazon’s policy reps repeatedly chose not to say they’re not working with ICE at a hearing with NYC council members Wednesday.
Day of Rekognition
Rekognition, Amazon’s facial recognition technology, was found to be inaccurate and racist, but it didn’t Amazon from pitching the tech to ICE. Some local police departments are already using Rekognition without discussing it with their communities and also without rules and guidelines about how to use the technology. Biased tech + ICE & Police? Sounds like match made in racist heaven.
Amazon recently came under fire for a patent application for a consumer version of facial recognition technology as well. The technology, developed for its home security company Ring.com, will make their doorbell cameras take photos of people walking by and analyze if their faces match a database of “suspicious” people. The patent application also says the tech will be able to capture and analyze other biometrics such as odor, hand geometry, gait, voice, and DNA on some Black Mirror shit.
“Regulate facial recognition tech or it’ll be ‘1984’” – Microsoft’s President Brad Smith
The damage facial recognition technology can potentially bring to our freedom is so real even President of Microsoft, which has their own version of facial recognition tech, is requesting the government to regulate it (it’s crazy there’s still no federal regulation on it yet, btw). Google recently announced they won’t sell their version of the tech to law enforcement agencies and Amazon’s own employees wrote an open letter to Jeff Bezos begging him to stop selling their tech to ICE as well. Judging from what happened on Wednesday, Bezos doesn’t seem to give a damn, though.