Amazon has no problems working with the federal government, as long as that government sticks to the law and does not abuse the technology it creates.
Speaking at a recent conference (opens in new tab), Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services addressed the issue when answering a question on the company working with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“We will serve the federal government, and they will have to use the technology responsibly,” he said. “Any government department that’s following the law, we will serve them.” He also said that it would be nice for the federal regulators to “hurry up”, because “otherwise, you’ll have 50 different laws in 50 different states.”
The technology in the middle of this debate is facial recognition. Some governments have been using Amazon’s tech, called Rekognition, and allegedly, it has led to multiple cases of false positives and incorrect arrests. Jassy said the problem around facial recognition tech is “a real one”, before adding “just because technology could be misused, doesn’t mean you should ban or condemn it.”
Among law enforcement agencies that use Rekognition are those in Oregon and Florida.
Microsoft has also recently faced backlash, mostly from its own employees, after it signed an agreement to supply the US military with customised HoloLens headsets.
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