Amazon was fired by the protestors when they charged the company of hypocrisy. The multi-billion dollar company had recently released a statement supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It has also condemned police brutality and the cold-hearted murder of George Floyd.
However, corporate had forgotten that it had somewhat aided the police enforcement by providing it with the controversial facial recognition technology. Hence, on Wednesday, the company announced that it would be suspending police use of its infamous technology for the upcoming year.
Amazon Web Services has sold its controversial tech device to police departments across the country. Research has shown that this device is biased towards black and people of color. It’s no news that black people are more likely to be stopped, searched and killed by police officers.
In 2019, A study led by MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini also revealed that this device had trouble identifying female faces, especially the women of darker tones.
However, Amazon has decided to continue its allowance to organizations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics as a means to help human-trafficking victims and minors.
"We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.” – revealed one of Amazon’s blog posts.
ACLU and MediaJustice were amongst the first few agencies that raised their voice against Amazon for selling Rekognition (the device) to the law enforcement. On Tuesday, a police officer had pinned down a black Amazon worker for simply parking the wrong way in Warren.
Amazon has asked the government to intervene and ensure that the device is used justly.