Shareholders ask Amazon to stop offering facial recognition software Rekognition

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A coalition of 85 different organizations including human rights groups, civil liberty organizations, and justice system reform advocates also sent the Amazon CEO an open letter demanding that his company stop selling facial-recognition technology to the government. Thursday's resolution, organized by nonprofit Open MIC, adds a financial twist and brings the debate into Amazon's board room (amzn). The investors behind the resolution, which include the religious order Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, hope Amazon's board will put it to a vote at the online retailer's annual shareholder meeting in the spring.

Amazon investors are urging the company to halt sales of its facial-recognition software to government agencies over fears the technology could be used to violate people's rights. Released in 2016, it has been used by government customers including police departments in Florida and Oregon. It said that it tested Rekognition and found that it incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress with mugshots in a database, and that the errors were more common with people of color.

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A coalition of 85 rights organisations has asked USA tech giants including Amazon, Google and others to not sell face recognition systems to the United States government. An A.I. general manager at Amazon Web Services has argued in response that "we believe it is the wrong approach to impose a ban on promising new technologies because they might be used by bad actors for nefarious purposes in the future...through responsible use, the benefits have far outweighed the risks".

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