back to article AWS won't sell facial-recog tool to police for a year – other law enforcement agencies are in the clear

Amazon Web Services has announced a one-year moratorium on police use of its facial-recognition technology. "We've advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge," the company …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    We won't sell it...

    ...until everyone forgets about this pesky Black Lives Matter campaign and it all dies down....then back to BAU.

    No joke icon, as this is going to be the reasoning behind it.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: We won't sell it...

      Plus their reasoning is that it worked for Amazon warehouses and COVID-19.

  2. Zimmer
    Big Brother

    We won't sell it.. v. 1.01

    ...because it's not working properly and, with everyone being encouraged to wear face masks in public for the foreseeable future, a year should give us enough time for purchasers to forget how bad it was and be convinced by marketing that a year of (non) development has perfected the system... hence the price rise..etc.

  3. trevorde
    Trollface

    FTFY

    Rekognition has been found to misidentify criminals as members of Congress ...

    1. not.known@this.address Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: FTFY

      I thought that was what American voters do?

  4. iron Silver badge
    FAIL

    And what about all that doorbell cam footage that they give to police?

  5. Snake Silver badge

    Typical

    The Tombstone mentality, that it takes [people] dying (or protesting worldwide, in this case) before [government, business, et al] is willing to stand up for change and do the right thing, especially if there's money in the way.

    Note that business and government dismissed the naysayers when it was easy to do so. Now that the entire world is attuned to the systemic bias of our systems, including the bias and inaccuracies that these systems impose on their PreCrime ideals, NOW they cower and second-guess themselves.

    If pessimism wasn't such an accurate predictor of outcomes in these modern times, I'd actually be rather positive -_-

  6. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Time for Congress

    to make appropriate rules?

    I assume that means rules that will have loopholes big enough to drive a DeathStar through.

    Or rules that will will simply be ignored by the increasingly ironically named "Department of Justice" (and upheld by a hand-packed SCOTUS)

    Do the names "Patriot" and "FISA" strike a familiar note?

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Time for Congress

      Waddya wanna bet that the "rules" include something along the lines of:

      No member of Congress or the Executive shall be identified as a Criminal (regardless of whether said member of Congress or the Executive is indeed a Criminal)....

  7. doublelayer Silver badge

    I think I know how this will work

    From the Facial Recognition Injustice Elimination and National Defense Act (FRIEND Act), October 2020:

    "It shall be illegal for any institution of this government or of the governments of the states to use facial recognition software for the recognition of the public. It shall also be illegal to retain records of facial data collected by public safety organizations for a period exceeding fourteen days. These requirements do not apply in the case of matters of national security, terrorism, human trafficking, or crimes against children. Furthermore, a fund is authorized to assist in the research and development of more accurate facial recognition models to prevent this technology from resulting in unintended discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or any other protected characteristic. These funds are to be distributed to organizations doing development in the United States and using information of U.S. residents only in order to foster domestic development of artificial intelligence software."

    From the records of the Improving Facial Recognition Software Accuracy Agency, December 2020:

    "Grants have been authorized in the following amounts: To Amazon.com, of the state of Washington, $258 million. To Clearview AI, of the state of New York, $223 million. To Public Safety Facial Research Systems Inc, of the state of Delaware, $198 million, ..."

    From the records of ________, company name redacted, March 2021:

    "We have obtained a dataset containing the images of all U.S. residents from government databases opened up by the FRIEND Act. Our accuracy rating seems to be improving nicely, and we believe will be able to make the targets requested by our clients in Saudi Arabia and China."

    From the records of various police departments: May-July 2021:

    "Recent protests in our city concerning [insert something you could protest here] have caused damage to property and chaos in the area. These tactics are being considered terrorism. For this reason, we will be investing in facial recognition software and longterm storage systems. We request additional funding for this purpose."

  8. Steven Guenther

    Who cares - wear a mask and sunglasses

    Now and forever the left has make masks ok.. even required when going out in public.

    Add in some sunglasses.

    I kinda doubt the facial recog algorithms will work.

    Bye Bye to lots of research and investment.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      @ Steven Guenther -- Re: Who cares - wear a mask and sunglasses

      The only problem here is that when you wear glasses and a mask, when you exhale, your glasses fog up....

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: @ Steven Guenther -- Who cares - wear a mask and sunglasses

        Then either you have

        a) a badly fitting mask

        b) a poor mask.

        It's amazing how many are wearing dust masks incorrectly.

        I've seen them upside down, just over the mouth and not the nose, inside out, or they clearly have been using the same one day in day out.

        Still something is better than nothing.

  9. Steven Guenther

    Selling small amounts of pot = International Terrorist Activitiy

    Doublelayer is right. Then they add whatever crimes they want to the terrorism list. See Patriot Act used to chase dealers. https://www.history.com/topics/21st-century/patriot-act

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