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Article

18 Jun 2018

Author:
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Human Rights Watch, Witness & 63 other civil society groups

Letter from Nationwide Coalition to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos regarding Rekognition

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The undersigned coalition of organizations are dedicated to protecting civil rights and liberties and safeguarding communities. We write today to express our profound concerns about your company's facial recognition system, Rekognition. We demand that Amazon stop powering a government surveillance infrastructure that poses a grave threat to customers and communities across the country... As advertised, Rekognition is a powerful surveillance system readily available to violate rights and target communities of color... Amazon also encourages the use of Rekognition to monitor “people of interest,” raising the possibility that those labeled suspicious by governments—such as undocumented immigrants or Black activists—will be targeted for Rekognition surveillance.

... Amazon Rekognition is primed for abuse in the hands of governments. This product poses a grave threat to communities, including people of color and immigrants, and to the trust and respect Amazon has worked to build. Amazon must act swiftly to stand up for civil rights and civil liberties, including those of its own customers, and take Rekognition off the table for governments.

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