Amazon: No face surveillance tech for ICE or police

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    Amazon: No face surveillance tech for ICE or police

    Despite his claims of support for migrants, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been secretly trying to sell ICE - Immigration Customs and Enforcement - his racially discriminatory facial recognition software, called Rekognition.

    Arming ICE with real-time facial recognition surveillance technology would supercharge the agency’s deportation machine, and could make undocumented immigrants afraid to seek out vital services in places that might have cameras. And given how frequently Amazon’s technology misidentifies Black people, it would increase the number of dangerous interactions between Black people and ICE’s law enforcement agents.  

    As law enforcement spy on Black activists, and the Trump administration continues its assault on immigrants’ rights, putting Amazon’s facial recognition surveillance tools in the hands of ICE and law enforcement will reproduce and amplify existing systems of oppression.

    Below is the letter we will send to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon: 

    Here is the Petition:
    Dear Jeff Bezos,

    Amazon should immediately stop selling the racially biased surveillance tool called Rekognition to law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    Study after study has shown that face recognition surveillance technology like this has strong racial biases leading to more erroneous police stops for Black and Latinx people, women, and young people. For Amazon’s Rekognition, the default settings are alarmingly inaccurate and racially biased. In a recent test of Rekognition that ran pictures of every member of Congress against a collection of mugshots, there were 28 false matches, with significantly higher incorrect results for people of color. The system even misidentified civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis.

    Arming ICE with real-time facial recognition surveillance technology would supercharge the agency’s deportation machine, and could make undocumented immigrants afraid to seek out vital services in places that might have cameras. And given how frequently Amazon’s technology misidentifies Black people, it would increase the number of dangerous interactions between Black people and ICE’s law enforcement agents.

    Amazon has branded itself as customer-centric, opposed secret government surveillance, and you've personally stated your public support for immigrants, yet, Amazon is powering dangerous surveillance that poses a grave threat to customers and communities already unjustly targeted in the current political climate.

    Amazon must make it clear that it will not continue to sell Rekognition and other surveillance tools to ICE and law enforcement that reproduce and amplify existing systems of oppression.