Amazon is cutting off US police access to Rekognition, the facial recognition program. What the American giant says


The American giant has announced a memorandum of understanding with the US police departments, interrupting their access to Rekognition, Amazon’s facial recognition platform, for a year.

The decision, which obviously involves marketing arguments at a time when more and more companies are trying to promote their image by associating with the fight against discrimination, comes just two days after another similar, resounding decision from IBM.

The big difference is that, unlike IBM, which has so far failed to dominate the facial recognition technology market, Amazon is actually one of the largest players in this market.

The Rekognition platform, like others in the area of ​​facial recognition, is a controversial one. The training process has enough flaws that the recognition is not done correctly many times and, at other times, to generate problems of inequality and discrimination.

One of the problems with these platforms comes from the fact that the set of images used to train the algorithm was often composed of images of white people, which led to a different operation of the algorithm depending on skin color.

Beyond the technology issues, Amazon’s decision seems to have more to do with the police and how the police use it. Amazon suggests in this decision that it is not possible to trust the United States police regarding the way facial recognition is used.

Amazon, which has been providing police facial recognition solutions for several years, has repeatedly refused to take action after several concrete problems were discovered, both in the way it is used by the police and in the way it works. this technology following the training of the algorithm.

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