Numerous civil rights organizations have also co-signed a letter demanding Amazon stop assisting government surveillance; and several members of Congress have expressed concerns about the partnerships.
Several lawmakers have even chimed in to voice concerns about Amazon’s facial recognition software, expressing worry that it could be misused, The Hill reported.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained hundreds of pages of documents showing Amazon offering the software to law enforcement agencies across the country.
In a 2018 report, the ACLU called Amazon’s facial recognition project a “threat to civil liberties.”
Amazon responded by essentially shrugging off the employees’ and shareholder concerns by the head of the company’s public sector cloud computing business, stating that the team is “unwaveringly” committed to the U.S. government.
“We are unwaveringly in support of our law enforcement, defense and intelligence community,” Teresa Carlson, vice president of the worldwide public sector for Amazon Web Services, said July 20th at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, FedScoop reported.
Amazon has since released an update claiming to have fixed all of the problems with lighting that caused inaccuracy to its systems according to the company.
Sorry. No data so far.
This also follows a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that the facial recognition technology the FBI is using for the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System failed privacy and accuracy tests, as Activist Post reported.
In 2018 it was reported that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were using this same Amazon Facial Rekognition technology to sift through surveillance data.
Defense One reports that “AI-Enabled Cameras That Detect Crime Before it Occurs Will Soon Invade the Physical World” are in the works and on display at ISC West, a recent security technology conference in Las Vegas.
Activist Post has previously reported in its own way that the rise of facial recognition technology is inevitable and, as a result, the death of one’s privacy is sure to come with it.
This writer continues to focus on facial recognition technology. From Amazon helping law enforcement with its Facial Rekogntion software, DHS wanting to use it for border control, to the Olympics wanting to use the tech for security.
It’s now been reported that facial recognition has evolved and researchers at the University of Bradford have found that “facial recognition technology works even when only half a face is visible,” according to EurekAlert. Although, this upgraded technology hasn’t been tested by police to this writer’s knowledge, and let’s hope that it never is, for if it does civil liberties and privacy will cease to exist.
Elsewhere in the world, facial recognition and the use of biometrics can be seen all over starting to emerge. In Malta, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat recently confirmed plans to implement facial recognition into the CCTV surveillance cameras around the country’s zones.
“The police are doing a good job but there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done to step up enforcement,” Muscat said in an interview on ONE Radio today. “We are looking into safe city concepts to prevent antisocial behaviour, whereby CCTV systems with technology that can identify law-breakers can do away with the need to have police stationed 24/7 in certain areas.”
Meanwhile, China is planning to merge its 170+ million security cameras with artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to create a mega-surveillance state. This compounds with China’s “social credit system” that ranks citizens based on their behavior, and rewards and punishes depending on those scores.
Consent to be identified by the government whenever and wherever we go is approval to have the government decide whether, when, and where we are allowed to travel. Put bluntly: it is very dangerous
The scary part is that intelligence agencies would be able to use their surveillance dragnet interlinked into CCTV cameras and companies like Facebook that utilize the technology to track someone’s location in real-time.
For more on facial recognition technology and what’s to come for our future, see this writer’s previous article “The Rise Of Facial Recognition Technology Is Now Inevitable.”
This writer’s not sure what’s worse, the technology being inaccurate or the evolution of the technology past these inaccuracies. In other words, citizens being mindlessly harassed or the soon-to-be manifested surveillance state that several private companies are creating that won’t just be used by police, but will also be used by businesses as a means of anti-theft as has been reported before. Which begs the question of protecting citizens’ privacy and how this database is secured from an information technology point of view, as well as how long these companies are allowed to retain data that is obtained without a warrant with a simple scan of a person’s face simply by walking by the facial recognition-equipped cameras in a public place like a shopping center.
Image credit: EFF.org
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute,Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.
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