CREDO Action

Tell Congress: Don't Let Amazon Make Tech Laws

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The petition to Congress reads:

"Facial recognition technology laws should not be written by corporations. This will only result in weak laws that do not protect US consumers and put us all in more danger. Do not let Amazon influence any face surveillance legislation."

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    Tell Congress: Don't Let Amazon Make Tech Laws

    Amazon wants to influence Congress.

    Just last week, Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company is developing legislation to regulate facial recognition software.1

    Rekognition, Amazon's facial recognition software, is frightening. In the hands of government agencies, Rekognition would supercharge already existing racist and discriminatory policing practices and boost the Trump administration's efforts to suppress and criminalize dissent. Recent reports reveal that law enforcement agencies in Florida and Oregon are already using this mass surveillance system to police communities.2 We cannot let Amazon write laws to regulate its own data sucking, privacy violating and dangerous surveillance technology.

    Tell Congress: Don't let Amazon make tech laws.

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    For years, Amazon has been facing public scrutiny over Rekognition. Amazon employees, CREDO activists and lawmakers have called out Amazon for marketing Rekognition to ICE and police.3 Rekognition has been proven racist, having nearly 40% false matches who were people of color in a test by the ACLU.4

    This translates into real-life situations in which these surveillance programs cannot correctly identify one person of color from another person which leads to unfair arrests in communities that are already over-policed.5

    Facial recognition technology further emboldens law enforcement to commit mass racial profiling, targeting of political dissidents and other abuses. The need for regulation on face surveillance technology is dire. But we can't allow the same company that is pushing this faulty, biased technology into our communities also write the laws to regulate it. That's why it's important that we sound the alarm now, before Amazon has the chance to influence Congress.

    Tell Congress: Don't let Amazon make facial recognition laws.

    References:

    1. Jason Del Rey, "Jeff Bezos says Amazon is writing its own facial recognition laws to pitch to lawmakers" Vox, Sept. 26, 2019.
    2. Elizabeth Dwoskin, "Amazon is selling facial recognition to law enforcement — for a fistful of dollars" The Washington Post, May 22, 2018.
    3. Kate Conger, "Amazon Workers Demand Jeff Bezos Cancel Face Recognition Contracts With Law Enforcement" Gizmodo, June 21, 2018.
    4. Jacob Snow, "Amazon’s Face Recognition Falsely Matched 28 Members of Congress With Mugshots" ACLU, June 26, 2018.
    5. German Lopez, "There are huge racial disparities in how US police use force" Vox, Nov. 18, 2018.