Facing up to facial recognition laws

Amazon reckons facial-recognition technology needs a spot of regulation. Andy Jassy, the company’s web services head, told Recode’s Code 2019 conference that he was in favour of legislation placing limits on cloud-based facial-recognition software like Amazon Rekognition.

“Whether it’s private-sector companies or our police forces, you have to be accountable for your actions and you have to be held responsible if you misuse it,” he said.

He added that the issue around facial-recognition technology was a real one.

His views are in line with a recent Amazon blog post on legislation. The company said it supported the calls “for an appropriate national legislative framework that protects individual civil rights and ensures that governments are transparent in their use of facial recognition technology.”

Earlier this year, an Amazon shareholder group filed a resolution asking the company to prohibit sales of Rekognition to law enforcement unless the firm it can be sure that it will not pose civil and human rights risk.

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