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Amazon to Pause Use of Facial Recognition Software by Police

  • Company urges U.S. Congress to put policies in place
  • Rekognition blasted for misidentifying African Americans
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Photographer: Ian Waldie/Getty Images
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Amazon.com Inc. said it will implement a one-year moratorium on police use of its facial recognition software, a major course change for a company that has been one of the most strident defenders of the controversial technology.

The company will pause law enforcement use of the software to give lawmakers time to regulate a technology that has stirred debate for years and shined an uncomfortable spotlight on Amazon’s cloud-computing division. The move comes in the midst of protests about police brutality and bias after an officer killed an unarmed black man, George Floyd. Facial recognition technology has been shown in experiments to sometimes have difficulty identifying people with darker skin, recalling for activist groups past government overreach that infringed on civil liberties.