Cybersecurity » Amazon’s Facial Recognition Product Pounded By Critics

Amazon’s Facial Recognition Product Pounded By Critics

May 29, 2018

Amazon’s “Rekognition” facial recognition product is coming under fire from critics, including the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch and others. The ACLU, noting that the software is already being used by some police agencies, warned that it could be used by governments to build a system for identifying and tracking anyone. “If police body cameras, for example, were outfitted with facial recognition, devices intended for officer transparency and accountability would further transform into surveillance machines aimed at the public,” the ACLU said in a published statement. “With this technology, police would be able to determine who attends protests. ICE could seek to continuously monitor immigrants as they embark on new lives. Cities might routinely track their own residents, whether they have reason to suspect criminal activity or not. As with other surveillance technologies, these systems are certain to be disproportionately aimed at minority communities.” Amazon, in a response, maintained the software had many uses that clearly were beneficial, including finding kidnapping victims or lost children, and that Amazon would suspend any client that abused it. Similar products are widely used in the UK, including by London police and, in one striking example, in conjunction with a giant Piccadilly Circus billboard that can scan pedestrians, index them in terms of age, gender, income and even, according to this article from Threatpost, mood, and language. The setup then, in theory, could alter the message to target the demographic it had observed.


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