#Amazon; #FacialRecognitionTool; #IBM; #Microsoft
New York, Jun 10 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made by Amazon on June 10 that it would be putting one-year pause on letting the police use its facial recognition tool, due to growing concerns that the technology may lead to unfair treatment of African-Americans, media reports said.
Amazon. Image credit: Twitter handle
Amazon’s technology had received criticism in the past for misidentifying people of color, but Amazon said its tools were accurate but were improperly used by researchers.
Face Recognition App. Image credit: Facebook page
Amazon's independent ethics board also recommended that the technology is not currently reliable enough to ethically justify its use.
“Face recognition technology gives governments the unprecedented power to spy on us wherever we go,” Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties director for the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) of Northern California, said in the statement. “It fuels police abuse. This surveillance technology must be stopped.”
Facial recognition technology has been used by law enforcement agencies to identify suspects and missing children by trying to match facial pattern data extracted from photos or video with those in databases.
A police reform law was introduced by Democrats in the House this week to ban the use of facial recognition technology with police recording equipment.
Civil liberties advocates began calling for a ban on the use of facial recognition by law enforcement in 2018, after a report by academic researchers found racial bias in the systems.
The facial technologies made by IBM and Microsoft could correctly identify the gender of white men in photographs about 100 percent of the time but it was less accurate to identify the gender of darker-skinned women.
Whereas IBM and Microsoft quickly improved their systems. Amazon found itself under scrutiny.
Last fall, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, said the company was drafting privacy legislation for facial recognition. but did not provide details about the company’s proposed legislation.