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Amazon proposes regulatory guidelines for facial recognition

(Image credit: Image Credit: Zapp2Photo / Shutterstock)

Facial recognition tools are handy, but could potentially curb civil rights. That’s why there have been calls for legislation, to make sure whichever company offers facial recognition tools, does so in responsible manner.

Given that no such law exists yet in the United States, Amazon has written a blog post outlying a few suggestions of its own. Writing about oversight and guidelines, Amazon Web Services VP of Global Public Policy, Michael Punke, says they need to make sure facial recognition isn’t used for discrimination.

"We support the calls for an appropriate national legislative framework that protects individual civil rights and ensures that governments are transparent in their use of facial recognition technology."

Here’s what he proposes:

  • "Facial recognition should always be used in accordance with the law, including laws that protect civil rights."
  • "When facial recognition technology is used in law enforcement, human review is a necessary component to ensure that the use of a prediction to make a decision does not violate civil rights." 
  • "When facial recognition technology is used by law enforcement for identification, or in a way that could threaten civil liberties, a 99% confidence score threshold is recommended." 
  • "Law enforcement agencies should be transparent in how they use facial recognition technology."
  • "There should be notice when video surveillance and facial recognition technology are used together in public or commercial settings."

Legislators in the state of Washington (Amazon’s home state) are considering a bill of their own, as they wait for federal rules. Microsoft has been lobbying for such a bill, but according to ZDNet, Amazon wasn’t too happy about this.

Image Credit: Zapp2Photo / Shutterstock