Facial recognition is once again making headlines in the Bay Area. Already this week, law enforcement was under pressure to answer questions about how it’s used and now, one of the biggest retailers in the world is under the spotlight, too.
Amazon will be under serious pressure Wednesday to stop selling its facial recognition technology called “Rekognition” to law enforcement and other government agencies.
Investors will vote on several proposals, including one from shareholders who already proposed that Amazon stop the sales to the government altogether and another from the Japanese American Citizens League that would call on the company to study the effects and report back.
In addition, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is urging the company to disclose who buys the “Rekognition” software and to explain how it’s used.
Amazon is telling investors that “Rekognition” is a powerful tool for business and law enforcement.
Santa Clara County Supervisors on Tuesday defended the sheriff’s department’s use of it, though without a formal policy.
“We’ve got almost 2 million people here in Santa Clara County. We owe them a right to privacy,” Supervisor Joe Simitian said. “We need to respect their due process. I think we can use the technologies that are available in a careful and narrowly crafted way.”
Earlier this week, San Francisco banned facial recognition technology. Oakland appears to be headed the same way.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Amazon-Pressured-Over-Facial-Recognition-Technology–510263301.html.