Amazon proposes guidelines for responsible use of facial recognition

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Amazon Amazon Rekognition Amazon Facial Rekognition Amazon Facial recognition technology Amazon facial recognition tech Amazon video technology Amazon technology

The first element of Amazon's guidelines is the need for all uses of facial recognition to comply with law, including those protecting civil rights.

Over the past few months, Amazon has been meeting with policymakers to "understand how to best balance the benefits of facial recognition with the potential risks", according to Michael Punke, vice president of global public policy for Amazon Web Services.

"Facial recognition should always be used in accordance with the law, including laws that protect civil rights".

Where the law stands: There are no federal laws specifically governing facial recognition but some states do have laws against using technology to identify people without consent.

The company produced a five-point plan to responsibly regulate the technology when it comes to law enforcement.

Amazon had been pushing back against critics who say the technology never be sold to governments. When video surveillance with facial recognition is used in public or commercial settings, visible written notice should be provided. "We encourage policymakers to consider these guidelines as potential legislation and rules are considered in the USA and other countries", he said.

"AWS also supports the creation of a national legislative framework covering facial recognition through video and photographic monitoring on public or commercial premises, and we encourage deeper public discussion and debate about whether the existing video surveillance laws should be reviewed and updated", Punke writes. "In each case, we've demonstrated that the service was not used properly", he argued.

In India, Duggal said, anybody can misuse this technology without fears of facing any adverse legal consequences. "Instead, there should be open, honest, and earnest dialogue among all parties involved to ensure that the technology is applied appropriately", Punke wrote here on Thursday.

Amazon is trying to cut down on multiple seller profiles, a problem linked to fake sellers and counterfeit goods, and prompted the user to take a video with his webcam, without an option to decline.

Understandably, the Seattle based tech giant was grilled by newspersons aware of the development but the company refused to share any information or offer any explanation whatsoever.

As criticism over its facial recognition system Rekognition has grown among lawmakers and consumers alike, Amazon has come out in favor of legislating the technology and has even proposed guidelines on how to do so.

Since May, several civil rights groups have pressured Amazon to stop selling governments access to Rekognition, a powerful image ID software unveiled in 2016 by the company's cloud-computing division.

"Although I appreciate the progress in ethical thinking around the use and legislation of their products, the ongoing denial of corporate responsibility by Amazon is incredibly disappointing", said Deborah Raji, a researcher at the University of Toronto.