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16 Oct 2019

Alfred Ng, CNET

Amazon's plan for facial recognition laws faces skepticism from civil society

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"Amazon's plan for facial recognition laws faces skeptics," 26 Sept 2019

On [September 25, Jeff Bezos announced], "Our public policy team is actually working on facial recognition regulations, and it makes a lot of sense to regulate that... It's a perfect example of something that has really positive uses... [but] there's also potential for abuses of that kind of technology..." [C]ivil rights groups raised their concerns... expressing skepticism at Bezos' statement..."If Amazon is really interested in preventing these dangers, the first thing it should do is stop pushing surveillance tools into our communities without regard for the impact," [said] the ACLU's senior legislative counsel, Neema Singh Guliani... "Lawmakers should be skeptical of weak industry proposals that sacrifice individuals rights in the interest of profit."... Microsoft is also urging governments to enact legislation regarding the technology, warning that it could "exacerbate societal issues."... Lawmakers have already proposed several bills on facial recognition, including legislation that would ban the technology in public housing and in businesses... "We can't trust the companies that have profited off of biased facial recognition systems for years to now write their own rules," said the executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, Albert Fox Cahn. "Amazon's push for federal regulations is a cynical ploy to undercut the growing list of state laws that ban facial recognition like its own Rekognition system."