Jun 11, 2020

George Floyd: Amazon bans police use of facial recognition tech

Technology giant Amazon has banned the police from using its controversial facial recognition software for a year. Like other facial recognition products, Amazon's Rekognition can use Artificial Intelligence to very quickly compare a picture from, for example, an officer's phone camera and try to match it with mugshots held on police databases that can hold hundreds of thousands of photos. Facial recognition technology has been criticised for some time over potential bias, with studies showing that most algorithms are more likely to wrongly identify the faces of black people and other minorities than those of white people. The death in police custody of George Floyd, an African American man, reignited those concerns as police tactics and the use of technology for law enforcement have come under intense scrutiny. The American American Civil Liberties Union said all use of facial recognition on police body camera footage should be banned, and that federal funding should be restricted for local law enforcement agencies that didn't restrict the technology's use in the same way.

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