Tell Amazon: Stop facial recognition surveillance sales NOW

While Amazon has been tweeting in solidarity with the Black community and has announced donations to organizations working towards equity and justice, they’ve continued selling facial recognition surveillance technology that’s contributed to over-policing of communities of color, and which has been proven to disproportionately misidentify people of color.1-4

This technology has been marketed and sold to police departments across the U.S. and poses a huge privacy and safety risk to anyone currently protesting on the streets. 

This kind of hypocrisy needs to stop. Tweet at Amazon to demand they stop the sale of this biased and dangerous technology right now.

.@amazon will you support Black communities by stopping the sale of facial recognition technologies to police forces, to prevent these from being used to criminalize and police communities of color? #StandAgainstFacialRecognition

Don’t have Twitter? You can also comment on Amazon’s Facebook page - either by replying to this post or commenting on any other recent post from their account to make sure the pressure is spread everywhere we can.

 

Don't use social media? You can email Amazon's PR team at amazon-pr@amazon.com and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at jeff@amazon.com.

“Regarding Amazon’s recent statements expressing solidarity with the Black community, I would like to know if Amazon will commit to stopping the sale of facial recognition software to police departments in the U.S. in consideration of how this technology harms the privacy and safety of the Black community.”

 

Amazon is one of the leading global vendors of facial recognition software - technology that takes images of your face and uses algorithms to match it to faces in a database.

Amazon’s ‘Rekognition’ software is hugely controversial, and AI researchers have previously called for them to stop selling it to police after multiple tests showed that the technology disproportionately misidentify people of color, and even incorrectly matched photos of 28 members of Congress to police mugshots.These biases in the software mean that people of color are more likely to be the victims of harassment, wrongful arrest or worse. 

Last year, a shareholder proposal asking Amazon to carry out an independent human rights assessment of its facial recognition technology was voted down alongside proposals to stop selling the software to government customers.6

While Amazon sells this technology to police departments all over the country, they claim to have no record of how many departments are using it - and use of this dangerous and controversial technology is not regulated by the U.S. government.7

Amazon has recently been posting on social media claiming to stand in solidarity with the Black community - but has then ignored replies asking them to make good on this statement by stopping sales of biased and dangerous facial recognition software to police departments. Let’s make sure they can’t ignore this message any longer.

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Sources:

  1. @Amazon on Twitter
  2. Amazon donates $10 million to organizations supporting justice and equity: The Amazon Blog: Day One
  3. It's techno-racism’: Detroit is quietly using facial recognition to make arrests: The Guardian
  4. Gender and racial bias found in Amazon’s facial recognition technology (again): The Verge
  5. AI researchers tell Amazon to stop selling ‘flawed’ facial recognition to the police: The Verge
  6. Amazon defeated shareholder’s vote on facial recognition by a wide margin: TechCrunch
  7. Amazon sells facial recognition software to police all over the US, but has no idea how many departments are using it: Business Insider

Press: Matthew Hatfield | Phone: +1 (888) 441-2640 ext. 1 | matt@openmedia.org