Amazon joins IBM against Racial Bias; Halts Police use of Facial Recognition

There are several smaller tech organizations who still pursue Facial Technology for authorities without any concerns

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Representational Image Inc has joined IBM in the battle against the unfair usage of Facial Recognition technology which has allegedly created an environment of Discrimination and Injustice towards the people of Color. The Organization is executing a one-year pause on police use of its facial recognition software.

The decision coincides with a two-year battle between Amazon and civil rights activists, who have raised concern that inaccurate data matches could lead to unjust arrests. The death of George Floyd, a black man who died under the knee of a white police officer last month, has extended distress that facial recognition would be adopted unfairly against protesters.

Analysts have pointed to a past study revealing that Amazon’s “Rekognition” service found ti difficult to identify the gender of individuals with darker skin something Amazon has challenged already. The organization, which sells cloud computing technology through its Amazon Web Services division, said that it has always urged for regulations to assure the software was used ethically.

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

US Congress has been contemplating the potential regulation of the technology for months. Earlier this week, IBM wrote to the administrators to say it will no longer offer facial recognition commonly, whereas competing firm Microsoft Corp has declined some sales and supported regulations but not a halt.

Representational Image

Microsoft yet to comment on the matter and was not available for comment.

Amazon, due to its global appeal and support of facial recognition, has suffered the brunt of the criticism. There is a greater symbolic significance to its announcement. However, organizations such as Idemia and NEC Corp are known to have several facial recognition government businesses. Private-sector sales of Rekognition are estimated at around $3 million of Amazon’s $25.7 billion in cloud revenue in 2018.

Amazon said it would continue to allow the technology’s use by customers that support law enforcement to detect human trafficking victims.