Amazon calls on governments to quickly regulate facial recognition

In a blog post about Amazon’s position on multiple hot topics, the company urges governments to regulate facial recognition techniques. Amazon thus follows Microsoft, among others.

Governments must hurry to set rules for facial recognition, Amazon argues. The company points out that its facial recognition technology, Amazon Rekognition, is already being used for complex problems and has helped locate missing children, for example. The technique also has a downside: “Like most technology, facial recognition has two sides, so it can also be abused.”

Amazon refers to its own guidelines on the use of facial recognition. These could serve as a basis for government regulations, is the proposal. Those guidelines state, among other things, that there must always be human judgment when used by authorities in order to prevent civil rights from being violated. In addition, authorities should be transparent about its use.

Amazon drew up these guidelines after criticism came at the beginning of this year, from shareholders among others, on the delivery of the Rekognition technology to US government services. In addition, it was reported in the summer that Amazon’s smart doorbell subsidiary, Ring, is working with hundreds of U.S. law enforcement agencies, who can request footage of the doorbells. Amazon says that the best technology should be available to all layers of government: “We will continue to provide the US government and authorities with access to the most advanced technology.”

Microsoft, among others, has also spoken out for some time in favor of drawing up rules by governments regarding the use of facial recognition.