Amazon Shareholders are demanding the company to stop selling Rekognition which is the company’s facial recognition software to law enforcement. A shareholder company is currently putting pressure on Amazon to stop providing the product to government agencies until a civil rights review can be completed.
Rekognition is a part of Amazon web service(AWS) which has the ability to conduct image and video analyses of faces, also, the technology can track the people as well as their emotions. Amazon has sold its rekognition software to law enforcement agencies in at least two states, they also set up this software this software to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Last year in May, Amazon facial recognition software was criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and highlighted the rekognition by saying that they had obtained the documents which raises some questions on profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns. Later in a test, they found the software tool inaccuracy when it matched 28 members of Congress to criminal mugshots.
This resolution was formed by nonprofit organization Open MIC that represents a group of shareholders that shows a total $1.32 billion in assets under management.
“It’s a familiar pattern: a leading tech company marketing what is hailed as breakthrough technology without understanding or assessing the many real and potential harms of that product,” Open MIC Executive Director Michael Connor wrote in a blog post. “Sales of Rekognition to government represent a considerable risk for the company and investors. That’s why it’s imperative those sales be halted immediately.”
However, this week a union of 90 advocacy groups asking the Amazon, Google, and Microsoft not to sell its facial recognition software to government agencies. Amazon who has already sold the software is now facing internal pressure from its employees and Amazon shareholders. For the time being, Amazon has declined to comment on the current matter.