Police Use of Facial Recognition banned by Amazon

On June 11, 2020, the E-Commerce giant Amazon banned the use of its software “Rekognition” by the police. The software used to quickly compare a picture with the police data bases that holds hundreds of 1000s of photos.

Why the ban?

The facial recognition technology has been criticized over some time. This is mainly because, most of the algorithms of the Rekognition software are more likely to wrongly identify the faces of black people than those of white people.

Recognition

The Amazon Rekognition software was launched in 2016. It was sold and used by a number of US government agencies.

What is the controversy?

The Gender Identification technology of Rekognition software identifies faces as only male and female. There is no category for nonbinary gender. According to MIT researchers, the errors in the face recognition system is more. Though it is reducing year after year, the performance of the software on female faces were less accurate than that of male faces.

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