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Amazon extends ban on police using Rekognition facial recognition technology, no end in sight

Amazon has decided to extend its ban on US law enforcement usage of Rekognition, its facial recognition technology solution, until further notice. The initial ban on US police usage of the technology was set to expire next month. The ban was initially enacted due to the unethical use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies. The ban was designed to give Congress a year to debate and pass appropriate rules pertaining to the technology, however, this has not occurred. At the time of the initial ban, Amazon released a statement that affirmed its advocation for stronger regulations that govern the ethical use of the technology.

Despite a handful of federal-level proposals being put on the table on Congress, none have passed in the past year, prompting Amazon to extend the ban. Amazon’s moratorium is now in place indefinitely until the issue is addressed. The primary reasoning behind the ban on Recognition was its usage as a tool to identify potential suspects in criminal cases that often had a negative impact on minority communities and was flawed when it came to their identification.

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