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Amazon Won’t Let Police Use Its Facial-Recognition Tech for One Year

On Wednesday, Amazon announced that it plans to suspend police use of Rekognition, Amazon’s facial recognition technology, for one year. Over the past few years, facial recognition technology’s use in law enforcement has been heavily criticized for its potential implicit bias against communities of color and possibility for misuse by police officers. After weeks of worldwide protests against racism and police brutality, Amazon has decided to implement a “one-year moratorium.”

Amazon stated that they hope the one-year suspension allows Congress the time to implement appropriate and necessary rules for the use of facial recognition technology, which has been largely unregulated in the US since its creation. Studies show that facial recognition tools like Amazon’s Rekognition misidentify people of color at higher rates than white people. Axon, a company that manufactures police body cameras, stated that it would not deploy the systems in its products due to ethics issues.

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