Orlando Ends Use of Amazon’s Rekognition Facial Technology
Orlando City in Florida said that it will end the use of Amazon’s Rekognition facial technology. The announcement arrived after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and protest of nearly 89 groups. This is because of the sale of the system to police officers.
According to Orlando Police Department, the staff is discussing and evaluating whether to continue the pilot at a further date.
“At this time that process is still ongoing and the contract with Amazon remains expired,” the department said.
However, the city and police department laid bare on the possibility of pursuing the contract at an additional date.
“The City of Orlando is always looking for new solutions to further our ability to keep our residents and visitors safe. Partnering with innovative companies to test new technology — while also ensuring we uphold privacy laws and in no way violate the rights of others — is critical to us as we work to further keep our community safe,” the department said.
In May, there was a release on news about Amazon’s supply of the facial identification technology to U.S. law enforcement. This followed an ACLU investigation on dealings between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Orlando Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon.
In identifying a criminal suspect, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is constantly using the said technology. This was from a public information officer who told The New York Times. ACLU obtained emails which show deputies’ usage in finding unconscious, deceased citizens and several innocent witnesses.
Amazon shareholders believe that the abuse use of the said facial recognition technology could increase public manipulation. Thus, this could threaten to generate a negative impact on the stock.
“While Rekognition may be intended to enhance some law enforcement activities, we are deeply concerned it may ultimately violate civil and human rights. We are [also] concerned the technology would be used to unfairly and disproportionately target and surveil people of color, immigrants, and civil society organizations … [and that] sales may be expanded to foreign governments, including authoritarian regimes,” the shareholders wrote.
Technology worries on trade conflict triggering stocks to decline
The stocks dropped after the Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal news reported the administration’s plans to limit exports in China. This includes high-tech products. The administration also plans to regulate the companies’ investment in technology firms with Chinese ownership.
As per Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, the investment restrictions are not tight to China and the extended losses.
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