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Amazon is banning police from using its facial recognition tech for one measly year

This move comes days after IBM announced it was shuttering its facial recognition software.

facial recognition racial bias with amazon rekognition
Image: Perpetual Line Up

Announced this week, Amazon will be banning police from using its facial recognition software. The move comes just days after IBM announced it was shuttering its “general purpose facial recognition and analysis software products.”

The move comes in the wake of a country finally waking up to many of the injustices in our country, with facial recognition (in its current state) having issues with racial bias. Obviously, that is not something that should be present, but in law enforcement, the issues are obviously more apparent to the general public.

Amazon’s facial recognition software, Rekognition, was first introduced in 2016, but as the company started working with police, flags began to be raised. In 2018, the ACLU called out the company for the software, and months later, Orlando police departments ended their use of the software.

In a statement, Amazon notes, “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. We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.”

It should also be pointed out that Amazon isn’t completely scrapping the project, as it will still be used in a variety of things, including “organizations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics.”

What do you think? Glad to see Amazon taking these steps or would you prefer the company shutter the whole project? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Former KnowTechie editor.

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