"A casual announcement made Wednesday by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that his company is writing facial recognition regulations for legislators to enact is exactly what “digital rights activists have been warning” would emerge from Silicon Valley unless lawmakers pass a full ban on facial recognition surveillance.
Bezos told reporters at a product launch event that the company’s “public policy team is actually working on facial recognition regulations.”
“It makes a lot of sense to regulate that,” Bezos said. “It’s a perfect example of something that has really positive uses so you don’t want to put the breaks on it. At the same time there’s lots of potential for abuses with that kind of technology and so you do want regulations.”
“Amazon wants to write the laws governing facial recognition to make sure they’re friendly to their surveillance driven business model,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, in a statement. “But this type of technology…poses a profound threat to the future of human liberty that can’t be mitigated by industry-friendly regulations. We need to draw a line in the sand and ban governments from using this technology before it’s too late.”
“Silicon Valley’s calls to ‘regulate’ facial recognition are a trap, designed to hasten the widespread adoption of this invasive and harmful technology by implementing weak regulations that assuage public concern without putting a dent in corporate profits.”
—Fight for the Future"
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