AWS Offers Support Facial Recognition Legislation

Amazon Web Services (AWS) shared its support for calls for a national legislative framework when it comes to regulating facial recognition software in a blog post written today by VP of Global Public Policy Michael Punke.

After concerns have been raised over possible discrimination and civil rights violations, AWS noted that it consistently tests its facial recognition to optimize the benefits and weigh the potential risks.

“The use of facial recognition technology must comply with all laws, including laws that protect civil rights,” Punke wrote. He cites the Civil Rights Act and the Fourth Amendment as existing laws with which facial recognition should abide.

The blog post also details how facial recognition should still require a human review factor if being used by law enforcement. Punke writes that facial recognition matches should not be the sole determinant for making arrests or identifying persons of interest in a criminal investigation. The blog post also champions transparency from law enforcement offices using facial recognition technology along with written notices that will make the public aware of when the technology is being used on premises, much like video surveillance signs you might see at a store.

“To create the greatest public confidence in responsible law enforcement use of facial recognition, we encourage law enforcement entities to be transparent about their use of the technology and to describe this use in regular transparency reports,” Punke writes.

The company also offered its support for the development of independent standards for facial recognition by organizations like the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“We are engaging with the NIST and other stakeholders to offer our direct assistance towards this effort,” Punke notes.

The call for facial recognition legislation follows Microsoft’s push for legislation back in December.

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