Amazon shareholders back face recognition plan
23 May 2019 12:40 GMT

Amazon shareholders have rejected proposals that would stop sales of facial recognition technology to governments.

The measures were voted down at Amazon's annual stockholders meeting.

Seattle-based Amazon developed facial-recognition technology called Rekognition and sells it as part of its cloud services unit. Several police departments have tested Rekognition, and Amazon is reportedly marketing the technology to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where it could be used to profile or surveil immigrants, the proposal contended.

The proposal called on the Amazon board of directors to ban sales of facial recognition technology to government agencies unless it concluded, based on independent evidence, that it would not contribute to violations of civil or human rights.

"New technology should not be banned or condemned because of its potential misuse," the board said in a statement of opposition in the shareholder proxy.

"Instead, there should be open, honest, and earnest dialogue among all parties involved to ensure that the technology is applied appropriately and is continuously enhanced."

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